The Deck

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The Deck

Short Fiction

Fiona Farrell's new novel, The Deck, was published by Penguin Random House NZ in April 2023. It borrows motifs from Boccaccio's 14th century masterpiece, The Decameron, to explore the role of storytelling in a time of plague and social collapse.

Farrell's novels are noted for their originality and lively intelligence. She is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, receiving critical acclaim across a variety of genres. Uniquely she has been a finalist in all three categories at the NZ Book Awards, for fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Her first novel, The Skinny Louie Book won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for fiction. Since then, three other novels have been shortlisted for the Awards, while four have been nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. Farrell's short fiction has appeared in the company of Alice Munro and Hanif Kureishi in two volumes of Heinemann’s Best Short Stories (ed. Gordon and Hughes). Her poems feature in major anthologies including The Oxford Book of New Zealand Poetry and Bloodaxe’s best- selling Being Alive. Her play Chook Chook is one of Playmarket New Zealand’s most frequently requested scripts.

Fiona Farrell is a frequent guest at festivals in New Zealand, and has also appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival, Salisbury UK Festival and the Adelaide Festival.

She has held residencies in France (1995 Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton) and Ireland (2006 Rathcoola Residency). Fiona was the 2011 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. In 2007 she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Literature in the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012.

In 2013, Farrell received Creative New Zealand's premier award, the Michael King Fellowship, to write twin volumes, one fiction, one non-fiction, prompted by the Christchurch earthquakes and the reconstruction of the city. The Villa at the Edge of the Empire, was shortlisted for the non-fiction section in the 2016 Ockham NZ Book Awards while its fictional twin, Decline and Fall on Savage Street was published to critical acclaim in 2017 and received that year's NZSA Heritage Book Award for fiction. Together, the books have been described as ‘a wonderful piece of art.’

In 2023, Fiona Farrell became a Fellow of the Academy of New Zealand Literature. In an Appreciation composed for this event, author and critic Paul Little wrote, ‘Across the years of Fiona Farrell’s work, I’ve found an almost perfect fit between what I hope to find in any writing — surprise, excitement, daring, perspective, splendour — and what she produces reliably time after time.’




The Deck (Penguin Random House, 2023)

Decline & Fall on Savage Street (Penguin Random House, 2017)

Limestone (Random House, 2009)

Mr Allbones’ Ferrets (Random House, 2007; St Martins Press, USA, 2009)

Book Book (Random House, 2004)

The Hopeful Traveller (Random, 2002)

Light Readings (Short stories: Random, 2001)

Six Clever Girls Who Became Famous Women (Penguin, 1996)

The Skinny Louie Book (Penguin, 1992)

The Rock Garden (Short stories: Auckland UP, 1989)



The Villa at the Edge of the Empire (Penguin Random House, 2015)

The Quake Year (Interviews, in collaboration with photographer Juliet Nicholas: Canterbury UP, 2012)

The Broken Book (Poetry/essays: Auckland UP, 2011) also listed under Poetry below.



Nouns, verbs, etc. (selected poems) (Otago UP, 2020)

The Broken Book (Poetry/essays: Auckland UP, 2011)

The Pop-Up Book of Invasions (Auckland UP, 2007)

The Inhabited Initial (Auckland UP, 1999)

Cutting Out (Auckland UP, 1987)