Stevan Eldred-Grigg

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Stevan Treleaven Eldred-Grigg (born 1952) is the New Zealand author of nine novels, eight history books and various essays and short stories.

Born in the Grey Valley, New Zealand, he was one of nine children of Valerie 'Darkie' Forbes, a former factory worker, and her mining official husband Gilbert Eldred-Grigg, living in the small mining town of Blackball. He is of English, Cornish and Scottish descent. Stevan was brought up in the West Coast and Canterbury. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1975 with an MA in History before obtaining a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra in 1978.

Initially a writer of short stories, the first three major works published by Eldred-Grigg were A Southern Gentry, a history of landowning families in the southern provinces of New Zealand, A New History of Canterbury, a social history of the province, and Pleasures of the Flesh, a book about sexuality and drugs in colonial New Zealand. In 1987 he published his first novel, Oracles and Miracles, the story of two sisters growing up in Christchurch before and during World War II. Since then he has written several fiction and non-fiction books. Kaput!, unlike all of his other work, focuses on Europe and portrays an ordinary housewife struggling to deal with day-to-day life in wartime Berlin during the period of the Third Reich in Germany.

Eldred-Grigg was the first living New Zealand writer of literary fiction to have had a novel translated into Chinese when his 1987 novel, Oracles and Miracles, was published in Shanghai in 2002 under the new title ‘剩’贤奇迹.[1]

Eldred-Grigg has lived in Mexico City, Iowa City, Berlin and Shanghai. He is currently based in Beijing and Wellington. His three most recent books are Diggers, Hatters & Whores, a history of gold rushes in New Zealand; The Great Wrong War, a highly controversial history of New Zealand during World War I; and People, People, People, a very brief history of New Zealand from 1200 to 2000.[2]

He has three sons: Hugh Treleaven Eldred-Grigg, Alexander James Hunter and Michael Forbes Clifford Hunter.

Literary works[edit]


Dates given record the date of first publication: