Writers are artists who create worlds with words drawn from their experiences and imaginations. Discover the powerful, moving and invigorating words of the authors in the 2020 Writers programme before you hear them speak. You can pick up these books now from official Writers bookseller Unity Books, or any good bookstore. Get reading and see you at the Festival!

Children’s and Young Adult

Bernard Beckett, Lullaby
Mandy Hager, Ash Arising
Whiti Hereaka, Legacy
Sacha Cotter and Josh Morgan, The Bomb
Scarlett Thomas, WorldQuake

Essays and Short Fiction

Sophie Cunningham, City of Trees
Ingrid Horrocks, Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand
Courtney Sina Meredith, Life on Volcanoes
Karlo Mila, So Many Islands
Paula Morris, False River
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Tahuri


Pip Adam, The New Animals
Jokha Alharthi, Celestial Bodies
Tash Aw, We, the Survivors
Damian Barr, You Will Be Safe Here
Rajorshi Chakraborti, Shakti
Craig Cliff, Nailing Down the Saint
Rijula Das, A Death in Shonagachhi (Publishing in 2020)
Kate Duignan, The New Ships
Laurence Fearnley, Scented
Brannavan Gnanalingam, Sodden Downstream
Mandy Hager, Heloise
Lucy-Anne Holmes, Just a Girl Standing in Front of a Boy
Lloyd Jones, The Cage
Dame Fiona Kidman, This Mortal Boy
Elizabeth Knox, The Absolute Book
Andrea Lawlor, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
Tina Makereti, The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke
Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities
Tommy Orange, There There
Lawrence Patchett, The Burning River
Nicky Pellegrino, A Dream of Italy
Renée, The Wild Card
Catherine Robertson, Gabriel's Bay
Catherine Robertson, The Not So Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence
George Saunders, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
Bronwyn Sell, Lovestruck (Publishing February 2020)
Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift
Carl Shuker, A Mistake
Apirana Taylor, Five Strings
Kate Tempest, The Bricks that Built the Houses
Scarlett Thomas, Oligarchy


Dame Anne Salmond, Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds
Benjamin Kingsbury, The Dark Island
Vincent O’Malley, The New Zealand Wars Nga Pakanga o Aotearoa
Serhii Plokhy, Chernobyl

Memoir and Biography

Laurie Anderson, All the Things I Lost in the Flood
Linda Burgess, Someone's Wife
Jung Chang, Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
Alan Duff, A Conversation with My Country
Chiké Frankie Edozien, Lives of Great Men
Lucy-Anne Holmes, Don’t Hold My Head Down
Witi Ihimaera, Māori Boy
Witi Ihimaera, Native Son
Long Litt Woon, The Way Through the Woods
Rose Lu, All Who Live on Islands
Chris Maclean, A Way With Words: A Memoir of Writing & Publishing in New Zealand
Samer Nashef, The Angina Monologues
Elspeth Sandys, Rewi Alley
Bart van Es, The Cut Out Girl
Marilyn Waring, Marilyn Waring: The Political Years
Emily Writes, Rants in the Dark


Jane Arthur, Craven
Jenny Bornholdt, Lost and Somewhere Else
Anahera Gildea, Poroporoaki to the Lord My God: Weaving the Via Dolorosa
Paula Green, Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry
Joy Harjo, An American Sunrise
Kara Jackson, Bloodstone Cowboy
Lynn Jenner, Peat
Simone Kaho, Lucky Punch
Gregory Kan, Under Glass
Selina Tusitala Marsh, Tightrope
Jo Randerson, The Wind is Up and We're On
Freya Daly Sadgrove, Head Girl (Publishing February 2020)
Kate Tempest, Running Upon the Wires
Tayi Tibble, Poūkahangatus
Chris Tse, He's so MASC
Alison Whittaker, Blakwork

Politics and Social Issues

Maria Bargh, A Careful Revolution: Towards a Low Emissions Future
Maria Bargh, A Hidden Economy: Māori in the Privatised Military Industry
Kristen Ghodsee, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence
Jade Kake, Rebuilding the Kāinga
Rebecca Kiddle, Imagining Decolonisation (Publishing March 2020)
Rebecca Kiddle, Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture
Toby Manhire, The Spinoff Book
Emma Ng, Old Asian, New Asian
Kinley Salmon, Jobs, Robots & Us
Lindy West, The Witches are Coming


Lisa Feldman Barrett, How Emotions are Made
Dr Hannah Critchlow, The Science of Fate
Veronika Meduna, Towards a Warmer World
Rebecca Priestley, Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica

Visual Arts and Culture

Chris McDowall, Veronika Meduna and Nadine Anne Hura, We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa
Justin Paton, McCahon Country
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Mau Moko: The World of Māori Tattoo
Matariki Williams, Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence & Defiance