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Born in Hawera, Kidman grew up in Northland and worked as a librarian in Rotorua after leaving school. She began her writing career as a freelance journalist in the early 1960s and was mentored by Bruce Mason and William Austin in theatre and radio theatre. Her first of eight novels was published in 1979, and she has also published four short story collections and four collections of poetry. Her work is often concerned with the effects of suburban and provincial lower middle-class life, its morals and its hypocrisies.
Kidman is active in the literary community, serving as the national president of PEN from 1981 to 1983 and as the president of the New Zealand Book Council from 1992-95. In 1988 she founded and ran the Fiona Kidman Creative Writing School, which is now part of Whitireia Community Polytechnic. She was Meridian Energy's Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow for 2006, and President of Honour of the New Zealand Book Council. Her latest novel, The Captive Wife was runner-up for the Deutz Medal and won the Readers' Choice award at the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
She was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 1998 New Year Honours for services to literature. 2016 her novel The Infinite Air was translated into German and published by Weidle Verlag.
She married Ian Kidman in 1960; the couple has a son and daughter.
|Library resources about
|By Fiona Kidman|
- A Breed of Women (1979)
- Mandarin Summer (1981)
- Paddy's Puzzle (1983) (USA title: In the Clear Light)
- The Book of Secrets (1987)
- True Stars (1990)
- Ricochet Baby (1996)
- Songs from the Violet Café (2003)
- The Captive Wife (2005)
- The Infinite Air (2013)
- All Day at the Movies (2016)
Short story collections
- Mrs Dixon & Friend (1982)
- Unsuitable Friends (1988)
- The Foreign Woman (1994)
- The House Within (1997)
- The Best of Fiona Kidman's Short Stories (1998)
- A Needle in the Heart (2002)
- The Trouble with Fire (2011)
- On The Train
- Honey & Bitters (1975)
- On the Tightrope (1977)
- Going to the Chathams (1985)
- Wakeful Nights (1993)
- Search for Sister Blue (1975)
- Gone North (1984)
- Wellington (1989)
- New Zealand Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology (1998)
- The Best New Zealand Fiction:1 (2004)
- The Best New Zealand Fiction:2 (2005)
- "Jean Batten, Pilotin" (2016)
- Ngaio Marsh Award for television writing (1972)
- New Zealand Scholarship in Letters (1981)
- Mobil New Zealand/ Outlook Short Story Award (1985)
- New Zealand Book Awards for The Book of Secrets (1987)
- Officer, Order of the British Empire for services to literature (1988)
- Arts Council Award for Achievement (1988)
- Dame Companion New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature (1998)
- AW Reed Award for Lifetime Achievement (2001)
- Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellow (2006)
- Runner up Deutz Medal and winner of People's Choice at Montana New Zealand Book Awards (2006)
- Knight, Order of Arts and Letters (2009)
- Knight, Legion of Honour (2009)
- Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) - 1998
- Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) - 1988
- Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (France) – 2009.
- Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (France) - 2009.
- London Gazette (supplement), No. 51173, 30 December 1987. London Gazette Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- New Year Honours List 1998. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Buchinfo | Weidle Verlag". Weidleverlag.de. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- "The New Zealand Order of Merit, Rolls of the Order". Dpmc.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Two prestigious French awards for Dame Fiona Kidman". Ambafrance-nz.org. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2012.