Her first published work, Waiariki (1975), was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She has been described as "a key figure in contemporary world literature and in Maori literature in English."  She was awarded the 2008 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Grace currently lives in Hongoeka Bay, Plimmerton. In the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours, Grace was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service. In 2006 she was one of three honourees in the 2006 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement. Grace was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2009, Grace declined redesignation as a Dame Companion following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.
Grace is a patron of the Coalition for Open Government. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English refers to her prose as distinctive in its "spare style based on the speech structures of Maori English."
- Mutuwhenua: The Moon Sleeps, (Longman Paul, 1978; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Livewire, 1988; Cambridge University Press, 1991).
- Potiki, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Ltd. [Great Britain], 1987); translated into Finnish, (Kaantopiiri Helsinki, 1990); German, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1993); French, (Arlea, 1993); Dutch, (De Geus, 1994); UHP Hawaii, 1995 ; Portuguese (Edições Duarte Reis, 2004).
- Cousins, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1992); German translation, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1997).
- Baby No-eyes (1998).
- Dogside Story (2001).
- Tu (2004).
- Ned and Katina, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2009).
- Chappy, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2015).
Short story collections
- Waiariki, (Longman Paul, 1975; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd, 1986); first collection of short stories by a Maori woman writer.
- The Dream Sleepers, (Longman Paul, 1980; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986).
- Electric City and Other Stories (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1987)
- Selected Stories (Penguin [NZ] Ltd., 1991).
- The Sky People (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1994; Women's Press Ltd. Great Britain).
- Small Holes in the Silence (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2006).
- Collected Stories, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1984); first three short story volumes.
- Text for Wahine Toa, a book of paintings by Robyn Kahukiwa, stories with women in Maori mythology (William Collins, 1984; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd.; Viking Pacific, 1991).
- The Kuia and the Spider/ Te Kuia me te Pungawerewere (1981).
- Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street/ Te Tuna Watakirihi me Nga Tamariki o te Tiriti o Toa (1984).
- The geranium (1993).
- Areta & the Kahawai/ Ko Areta me Nga Kahawai (1994).
- Maraea and the Albatrosses/ Ko Maraea me Nga Toroa (2008).
- "Visiting Faculty and Distinguished Writers in Residence". University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
- "2008 Neustadt Prize Laureate - Patricia Grace". World Literature Today (Vol. 83). May 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "NEW: Banquet to honor winner of the Neustadt Prize". The Norman Transcript. September 18, 2008. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Staff writer (October 8, 2007). "Patricia Grace wins prestigious literary prize". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- London Gazette (supplement), No. 51367, 10 June 1988. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Leading Writers Honoured in Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement
- Queen's Birthday Honours LIst 2007. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Young, Audrey (14 August 2009). "Helen Clark loses: Ex-Labour MP takes title". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Ousby, Ian (1994) - The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, Cambridge, p 385