Fiona Judith Eakin
26 March 1940
Hāwera, New Zealand
Ernest Ian Richard Kidman
(m. 1960; died 2017)
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, Northland College in Kaikohe and Waipu District High School in Waipu. She worked as a librarian in Rotorua after leaving school. She married Ian Kidman in 1960, and the couple had two children.
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. The first of her eleven novels was published in 1979, and she has also published eight short story collections and six collections of poetry. Her work is often concerned with the effects of suburban and provincial lower middle-class life, its morals and its hypocrisies, and explores the lives of women and of those who are outsiders in conformist societies. She is deeply interested in issues of social justice.
Kidman is active in the literary community, serving as the National President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (including PEN NZ) from 1981 to 1983 and as the President of the New Zealand Book Council from 1992 to 1995. 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. From 2001 to 2016, she was a founding Trustee of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust, and is now a Trustee Emerita. In 2017, she was the Honoured New Zealand Writer at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of New Zealand Literature. Her 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. 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. Her novels and poems have been translated into several languages including French, German, Italian and Romanian.
In the 1988 New Year Honours, Kidman was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to literature. She was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 1998 New Year Honours, for services to literature. On 27 October 2009, at a function at the French Residence in Wellington, she was awarded two significant honours for her long and distinguished literary career, and her close association with French culture: the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) and Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour (Knight of the French Legion of Honour).
|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)
- This Mortal Boy (2018)
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)
- Preservation (2013)
- All the Way to Summer (2020)
- 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)
- Search for Sister Blue (1975)
- Gone North (1984)
- Wellington (1989)
- Palm Prints (1994)
- At the end of Darwin Road (2008)
- Beside the Dark Pool (2009)
- New Zealand Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology (1998)
- The Best New Zealand Fiction:1 (2004)
- The Best New Zealand Fiction:2 (2005)
- The Best New Zealand Fiction:3 (2006)
- Rescapée, translated by Stéphane Camille (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2006)
- Lupta cu destinul (Lider, 2009)
- Gare au feu, translated by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2012)
- Dove si posa la mano sinistra (poems) (Aracne, 2013)
- Le livre des secrets, translated by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2014)
- Jean Batten, Pilotin, translated by Barbara Weidle (Weidle Verlag GmbH, 2016)
- Fille de l'air, translated by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2017)
- Comme au cinéma, translated by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2019)
- Albert Black, translated by Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Sabine Wespieser éditeur, 2021)
- 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)
- Arts Council Award for Achievement (1988)
- 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)
- Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers Fellowship (2008)
- Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction (2011)
- NZSA Canterbury Heritage Literary Awards Prize for Fiction (2016)
- NZSA Canterbury Heritage Literary Awards Prize for Fiction (2018)
- Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize (2019)
- Ngaio Marsh Awards – best novel (2019)
- NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book (2019)
- NZSA Heritage Book Awards Prize for Fiction (2020)
- University of Otago Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies (CISS) Irish Writers Fellowship (2021)
- 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.
- Robinson, Roger; Wattie, Nelson (1998). The Oxford companion to New Zealand literature. Auckland, NZ: Oxford University Press. p. ?. ISBN 0195583485. OCLC 40598609.
- Lambert, Traue & Taylor 1991, p. 343.
- Neave, Rosemary (10 December 2012). "Dame Fiona Kidman describes her life in Waipu". Bream Bay News. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
- Morey, Kelly Ana. "The Interview – Fiona Kidman". Academy of New Zealand Literature. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
- "Fiona Kidman". www.penguin.co.nz. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "New Zealand Book Council". www.bookcouncil.org.nz. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Ernest KIDMAN Death Notice – Auckland, Auckland | The New Zealand Herald". notices.nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "Dame Fiona KIdman". The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- Dennett, Kelly (30 June 2019). "Dame Fiona Kidman on life, and her new book". Sunday Star Times. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
- "Fiona Kidman: 2021 Festival sessions". Marlborough Book Festival. 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Dame Fiona Kidman - Memories of Menton". The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "The Trust: Governance". Randell Cottage Writers Trust. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Dame Fiona Kidman: Trustee Emerita". Randell Cottage Writers Trust. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- Murray, Felicity (30 May 2017). "AWF17: 2017 Honoured New Zealand Writer, Dame Fiona Kidman". Booksellers NZ. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "2017 Honoured New Zealand Writer: Fiona Kidman". Auckland Writers Festival. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Fiona Kidman – Academy of New Zealand Literature". 29 May 2019. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Maurice Gee wins top prize at Montana Awards". NZ Herald. 24 July 2006. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- 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.
- "Buchinfo | Weidle Verlag". Weidleverlag.de. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Survivor: Fiona Kidman". Sabine Wespieser éditeur: Literary publishing house. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
- "Going global: Fiona Kidman is taking incredible New Zealand writing to the world". Penguin Books New Zealand. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
- "Champion for the Cambodian community Ian Kidman dies, 85". 24 November 2017.
- "No. 51173". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 31 December 1987. p. 34.
- "New Year honours list 1998". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1997. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
- "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.
- "Dame Fiona Kidman honored". RNZ. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
- "Top Kiwi writers honoured". NZ herald. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Prime Minister's Awards for literary achievement". Creative NZ. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "NZSA Canterbury Heritage Book & Writing Awards 2018 – Results". The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc). 23 October 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Award: Winner of the 2019 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize has been announced!". Acorn Foundation. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Top crime writing prize for Dame Fiona Kidman". RNZ. 15 September 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- "NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced". Publishers Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Takupu. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Announcing the winners of the 2020 NZSA Heritage Book Awards 2020 – Winners". The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc). 30 October 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "Dame Fiona Kidman receives inaugural Irish Writing Fellowship". University of Otago Te Whare Wananga o Otago. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- "The New Zealand Order of Merit, Rolls of the Order". Dpmc.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Lambert, Max; Traue, James Edward; Taylor, Alister (1991). Who's Who in New Zealand, 1991 (12th ed.). Auckland: Octopus. ISBN 9780790001302. Retrieved 29 July 2015.