Elisabeth Easther meets three writers who have combined meticulous research of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australian history with gripping storytelling to create some of the year’s most page-turning books with women at their centre.

Olivia Spooner’s no. 1 bestseller The Girl From London follows a young school teacher escorting children evacuated from war-torn England to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand; Lauren Keenan’s (Te Āti Awa ki Taranaki) The Space Between is about the unbreakable bonds of whenua and family amid the New Zealand Wars in 1860 and in Barbara Sumner’s The Gallows Bird an ostracised young woman’s desperate actions cast her on course to one of Australia’s early convict settlements.

Together they discuss the detailed research process behind their books, and the craft of bringing history thrillingly to life in fiction.

Also at Auckland Writers Festival 2024

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 12 March 2024