fiona farrell


Fiona has published two collections of short stories, in addition to contributing to many national and international anthologies, and editing Vol 4 of 'The Best New Zealand Fiction', Random House New Zealand 2007.

Fiona has won many of the major New Zealand short story awards.

The Rock Garden


The Rock Garden

Auckland University Press 1989


‘This collection is as rich and gorgeous as a Persian rug, a veritable fireworks of literary invention.’ Shonagh Koea, Sunday Star Times 11 June 1989  

‘her approach is prismatic, different angles revealing different colours. She has the ability to write convincingly from the point of view all ages of either sex. But there’s more than observation to her stories: there’s wisdom too.’ Roger Hall, The Dominion, 10 June, 1989


'Fiona Farrell's first collection of short stories includes 'The Gift' which won the 1988 Sunday Times-Mobil Short Story Award. Fiona explains how she chose the title for her collection.'

"What I wanted to convey was the idea that you begin with something intransigent, sometimes downright painful and ugly - and you will find something beautiful and formed from that unlikely soil ... I want to stress the idea of unlikelihood. A lot of the stories are about pain of various sorts ... but springing out of that unhappiness is something that takes control of it through words and exults."

Light Readings

Light Readings

Random House New Zealand 2001

"This brilliant collection of short stories adds to Farrell's considerable reputation as poet, dramatist and fiction writer... Don't miss it." BOP Times. June 2001

"...she has the rare ability of turning the mundane events of domestic life into profound human experiences. Her writing is poetic, moving and literary." Beryl Fletcher, Waikato Times. 5 May, 2001

"Read the lot, they'll seduce you into sharing Fiona Farrell's vision of a quirky, fascinating world. She lifts the ordinary person into centre stage with an understanding few other New Zealand writers are managing at present" Pat White

'A superb collection of short stories that celebrate the power of the written word, giving an innovative take on the many forms of reading that bombard us in our everyday lives. From E- to junk-mail, gardening to cook books, tourist guides to romance novels, these stories play with them all. They illuminate the gap between living and reading, that moment when words become light.

These stories are funny, wise, moving and compulsive. They are examples of 'light reading' in their accessibility, but there is also depth and a beautiful style, offering the very best in literary reading.'


Best NZ Fiction Vol 4

Best New Zealand Fiction. Vol 4


Random House New Zealand 2007

edited by Fiona Farrell


"Farrell's choice demands respect and offers enjoyment to the intelligent reader..." Margaret Christenson, Wairarapa Times-Age 15 Dec. 2007

"This volume is fairly bursting at the seams with superb writing ... there is just something about the range of voices and subject matter that makes number four the best of the Best....editor Fiona Farrell's thoughtful introduction is the icing on the cake..." John McCrystal, NZ Herald 17th Nov. 2007

"Farrell's intelligent and enthusiastic introduction and the high standard of her choices make this an enjoyable and thorough showcase of our country's recent fiction..." Amy Brown, The Lumiere Reader

'This popular series continues with a new editor, Fiona Farrell, who has scoured the country and beyond for a sampling of the best stories being written by our writers today. She has selected a variety of voices and styles, with vivid images as diverse as a giant turtle burying its eggs in the sand, children rummaging through piles of kerbside inorganic rubbish and an eel landing on a crisp white shirt. There are moments of tenderness and revelation, humour and insight, each story reverberating beyond the confines of the page, staying with the reader long after its end.'


Michelle Arathimos, Sandra Arnold, Ben Brown, David Eggleton, Charlotte Grimshaw, Eirlys Hunter, Witi Ihimaera, Stephanie Johnson, Tim Jones, Fiona Kidman, Sue McCauley, Paula Morris, Carl Nixon, Julian Novitz, Sue Orr, Sarah Quigley, Duncan Sarkies, Tracey Slaughter, C.K. Stead, Judith White

Goodbye to Romance

NZ and Australian women writers 1930 - 1988

Allen & Unwin 1989

ed by Elizabeth Webby and Lydia Wevers



Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories

Penguin Books (NZ) 1989

ed by Susan Davis and Russell Haley



Closing the File and other stories

American Express Award winners 1984 - 89

Godwit Press Ltd 1990

"A Story about Skinny Louie"

Best Short Stories 1990

Best Short Stories 1990

Heinemann. London 1990

ed by Giles Gordon & David Hughes

"Skinny Louie"


Vital Writing NZ Stories & Poems 1989 - 90

Godwit Press Ltd 1990

ed by Andrew Mason

"A Story about Skinny Louie"

Best Short Stories 1990

The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories

Oxford 1992

ed by Vincent O'Sullivan

"The Gift"

Sport 10

Sport 10 - 1993

ed Fergus Barrowman

and on NZ Electronic Text Site

'True Stories'

NZ Electronic Text site

The Good Tourist and the Laughing Cadaver

Travel Stories from Australian and NZ Writers

Vintage - Random House New Zealand 1993

ed by Michael Gifkins


best short stories 1994

Best Short Sories 1994

Heinemann. London 1994

ed by Giles Gordon & David Hughes

"Sure to Rise"

Picador Book of Contemporary New Zealand fiction

The Picador Book of Contemporary New Zealand Fiction

Picador 1996

ed by Fergus Barrowman

'A Story about Skinny Louie'


Some Other Country - NZ's Best Short Stories

Third Edition

Bridget Williams Books 1997

ed by Marion McLeod & Bill Manhire

"A Story about Skinny Louie"


Oxford New Zealand Love Stories

Oxford 1999

ed by Fiona Kidman



Authors' Choice

Penguin Books (NZ) 2001

ed by Owen Marshall

"Heads or Tails"


Essential New Zealand Short Stories

Godwit - Random House New Zealand 2002

selected by Owen Marshall


best nz fiction vol 1

Best NZ Fiction Vol 1

Vintage - Random House New Zealand 2004

ed by Fiona Kidman

"The Strange Mystery of the Disappearing Body"

Best New Zealand Fiction vol 2

Best NZ Fiction Vol 2

Vintage - Random House New Zealand 2005

ed by Fiona Kidman