Fiona Kidman

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Dame Fiona Kidman

Born (1940-03-26) 26 March 1940 (age 80)
Hāwera, New Zealand
OccupationWriter
Spouse(s)
Ernest Ian Richard Kidman
(
m. 1960; died 2017)

Dame Fiona Judith Kidman DNZM OBE (née Eakin, born 26 March 1940) is a New Zealand novelist, poet, scriptwriter and short story author.[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in Hāwera in 1940, her parents were Flora Cameron (née Small) and Hugh Eric Eakin. She grew up in Northland and received her education at Riverview Primary School in Kerikeri and at Northland College in Kaikohe.[2] She worked as a librarian in Rotorua after leaving school.[3] She married Ian Kidman in 1960, and the couple had two children.[4][5]

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.[1] 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.[1]

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 to 1995.[1] 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.[4] 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.[6][3][7] Kidman won the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize for This Mortal Boy, which recreates the events leading to the real-life hanging of "jukebox killer" Paddy Black at Mt Eden prison in 1955.[3][8][7] In 2016, Kidman's novel The Infinite Air was translated into German and published by Weidle Verlag.[9]

Kidman's husband, Ian, died in Wellington on 30 October 2017, as result of an accident.[5]

Honours[edit]

In the 1988 New Year Honours, Kidman was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to literature[10] She was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 1998 New Year Honours, for services to literature.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • 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)
  • This Mortal Boy (2018)

Short story collections[edit]

  • 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

Poetry[edit]

  • Honey & Bitters (1975)
  • On the Tightrope (1977)
  • Going to the Chathams (1985)
  • Wakeful Nights (1993)
  • Where the Left Hand Rests (2010)
  • This Change in the Light (2016)

Plays[edit]

  • Search for Sister Blue (1975)

Non-fiction[edit]

  • Gone North (1984)
  • Wellington (1989)
  • At the end of Darwin Road (2008)

Editor[edit]

  • New Zealand Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology (1998)
  • The Best New Zealand Fiction:1 (2004)
  • The Best New Zealand Fiction:2 (2005)

Translated Novels[edit]

  • Lupta cu destinul (2009)
  • Jean Batten, Pilotin (2016)

Awards[edit]

Decorations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Robinson, Roger; Wattie, Nelson (1998). The Oxford companion to New Zealand literature. Auckland, NZ: Oxford University Press. p. ?. ISBN 0195583485. OCLC 40598609.
  2. ^ Lambert, Traue & Taylor 1991, p. 343.
  3. ^ a b c "Fiona Kidman". www.penguin.co.nz. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "New Zealand Book Council". www.bookcouncil.org.nz. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Ernest KIDMAN Death Notice – Auckland, Auckland | The New Zealand Herald". notices.nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Maurice Gee wins top prize at Montana Awards". NZ Herald. 24 July 2006. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Fiona Kidman – Academy of New Zealand Literature". 29 May 2019. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  8. ^ Dionne, Christian (29 May 2019). "Dame Fiona Kidman wins $53,000 Ockham book award fiction prize for This Mortal Boy – NZ Herald". Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Buchinfo | Weidle Verlag". Weidleverlag.de. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  10. ^ "No. 51173". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 31 December 1987. p. 34.
  11. ^ "New Year honours list 1998". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1997. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Top crime writing prize for Dame Fiona Kidman". RNZ. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  13. ^ "The New Zealand Order of Merit, Rolls of the Order". Dpmc.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Two prestigious French awards for Dame Fiona Kidman". Ambafrance-nz.org. 10 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2012.

Sources and bibliography[edit]