Baker, Denis

Baker, Denis

In Brief

Denis Baker is an Auckland based novelist and short story writer. His stories have been published widely and he was runner-up in the 1998 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition as well as the 1999 Takahe Short Story Competition. His collection of short stories, Floating Lines, prompted one critic to say that ‘realist masculine fiction in this country is in good shape’. Baker was the 2002 recipient of a Buddle Findlay Frank Sargeson Fellowship Award.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Baker, Denis (1966 –) is an Auckland-based novelist and short story writer.

Baker was raised in Auckland. In 1987 he left New Zealand for London, and later began his university education at Birkbeck College, University of London (1987-1991). Baker continued his education in the United States at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1991-1992). After completing his University studies, Baker returned to New Zealand.

Prior to the publication of Floating Lines, Baker’s work was runner-up in the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition (1998) as well as the Takahe Short Story Competition (1999). He has also been published in Metro, Grace, Takahe and has been broadcast by Radio New Zealand.

Writing in the NZ Listener, Lydia Wevers described Floating Lines as being about men who 'express their emotions and are very aware of the games men play, the damage they do, the wounds they sustain – there is no faux-naive narrator not really sure what his emotions are. Baker’s narrators are sharply, often bleedingly, alive to it.' Wevers goes on to say that 'realist masculine fiction in this country is in good shape'.

Baker was the 2002 recipient of a Buddle Findlay Frank Sargeson Fellowship Award.

On a Distant Island (2002), Baker's first novel, follows the life of Paul Burton, who flees London for home in New Zealand, hopeful to find a sanctuary. He meets Larry, who is not who he seems. The book centres around the knowledge that however hard we try to leave our past behind, we are forever tied to who we were and that nowhere is ever far enough away.

Updated January 2017.