Atkinson, Coral

Atkinson, Coral

In Brief

Coral Atkinson is a fiction writer. She has written novels and her short fiction has appeared in a range of publications in New Zealand and Ireland. Her first book, The Love Apple (2005), was a bestseller. Atkinson says, ‘I have forged a style in my writing that draws on two traditions – New Zealand and Ireland.’ Her second novel, The Paua Tower, was published in 2006, with Siobhan Harvey commenting, ‘Atkinson’s latest is overflowing with all the attributes necessary for a hit’.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Atkinson, Coral (1947 – ) is a novelist and short fiction writer.

Coral Atkinson was born in Ireland and immigrated to New Zealand in 1957. She has worked as a secondary school teacher, journalist and as a manager in publishing.

Her first novel, The Love Apple (2005), is a historical novel set at the end of the 19th century which moves between Ireland and New Zealand. The Love Apple quickly became a best-seller. Reviewing the novel in New Zealand Books, Jenny Robin Jones commented that: ‘the author refrains from taking a moral stance while dealing with her characters’ dilemmas regarding love, duty, war. […] 'She handles 19th century sex well too – it’s modest without being coy, and genuinely erotic.'

A second novel, The Paua Tower, was published in 2006, with Siobhan Harvey commenting in The Dominion Post that: ‘Atkinson’s latest is overflowing with all the attributes necessary for a hit: careful research; a beautifully evoked setting; a host of charismatic characters; rich writing; and a well-paced plot.’

Atkinson says of her writing: ‘I have forged a style in my writing that draws on two traditions – New Zealand and Ireland.’

She has also written a history book for children, Magic Eyes (2006), and was co-author of a non-fiction advice book, Recycled People: Forming New Relationships in Mid-Life (2000). Atkinson won The Press Summer Fiction Award 2005 for her short story, Cheerio!, and has had short fiction published in New Zealand and Ireland.

Copper Top (2009) is a junior historical novel about an Irish girl searching for her brother and his friend on the West Coast goldfields of the 1860s.
It has been praised by Fiona Farrell, and on-air by John McIntyre '...the story itself pushes all my buttons...a ripping yarn...meticulously researched... historically accurate and an authentic, young female voice...' (Nine to Noon Children's Book Review, 23 October 2009, Radio NZ)

Atkinson lives in the Banks Peninsula, Canterbury.

Last updated: December 2009

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Updated January 2017.