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Patricia Grace

Born 1937 (age 83–84)
Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation Author
Genre Short stories, children's fiction
Patricia Grace Wellington Writers Walk
The quotation for Patricia Grace on the Wellington Writers Walk, Wellington, New Zealand

Patricia Frances Grace DCNZM QSO (born 1937) is a New Zealand Māori writer of novels, short stories, and children's books.

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 is descended from Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Āti Awa. She was born in Wellington where she received the majority of her education, first at St Mary's College and then at Teachers' Training College. She began writing at age 25, while working full time as a teacher in North Auckland. Her first published short stories were in Te Ao Hou and the New Zealand Listener.

Waiariki, her first published book, won the PEN/Hubert Church Memorial Award for Best First Book of Fiction. It was a collection of short stories and the first to be published by a female Māori writer.

Grace currently lives in Hongoeka Bay, Plimmerton. She is a patron of the Coalition for Open Government.

In the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours, Grace was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service. In 1989, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature (LitD) by Victoria University of Wellington.

In 2006, she was one of three honourees awarded the Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement. Grace was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM), for services to literature, in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2009, she declined redesignation as a Dame Companion following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.

Grace received an honorary Doctorate of Letters (DLit) by the World Indigenous Nations University in 2016, conferred at Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Ōtaki, for her literary accomplishments and her writing around Māori themes.



  • Mutuwhenua: The Moon Sleeps, paul longman± 1978; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Livewire, 1988; Cambridge University Press, 1991 ; French translation Mutuwhenua Au vent des îles, 2012.
  • Potiki, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Ltd. [Great Britain], 1987); translated into Finnish, (Kaantopiiri Helsinki, 1990); German, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1993); French, (Arléa, 1993); Dutch, (De Geus, 1994); UHP Hawaii, 1995 ; Portuguese (Edições Duarte Reis, 2004), Italian (Joker, 2017).
  • Cousins, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1992); German translation, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1997).
  • Baby No-eyes (1998) ; French translation Les yeux volés Au vent des îles 2006.
  • Dogside Story (2001). Long listed for the Man Booker Prize.
  • Tu (2004).
  • Ned and Katina, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2009).
  • Chappy, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2015) ; French translation Chappy Au vent des îles, 2018.

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) ; French translation Au vent des îles, 2006. Électrique cité
  • 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) ; French translation Des petits trous dans le silence Au vent des îles, 2014.
  • 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).

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Children's books

  • 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).
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