Brown, Diane

Brown, Diane

Information

residence
Otago

In Brief

Diane Brown is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs her own creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin. Her publications include two collections of poetry - Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland, (1997) and Learning to Lie Together, (2004); two novels, If The Tongue Fits, (1999) and Eight Stages of Grace, (2002); a travel memoir, Liars and Lovers (2004) and a prose/poetic work, Here Comes Another Vital Moment. Her latest book, Taking My Mother To The Opera (2015), is an extended poetic family memoir, in part about post World War Two domestic life and the ageing of parents. She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and was an inaugural fellow at the Michael King Writer’s Studio. She won the Janet Frame Memorial Award in 2012 and the Beatson Fellowship in 2013. In 2013 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brown, Diane (1951 - ) is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs her own creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin. She was an inaugural fellow at the Michael King Writer’s Studio, and her poety has appeared in journals including Landfall, Poetry NZ and NZ Listener.

Her first book, combining poetry and prose, is Before the Divorce We Go To Disneyland (1997). It won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the 1997 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Kim Worthington writes in New Zealand Books ‘Juxtaposing the sardonic and the lyrical...this novella-length book sits surprisingly comfortably on the borderline between autobiographical fiction and confessional autobiography.’

Brown completed her second book, a novel entitled If the tongue fits (1999) during her time as a Buddle Finlay Sargeson Fellow in 1997. Susan Budd describes this as ‘A deliciously original, gloriously hectic first novel...packed with wit and wisdom, poetry and poseurs, light-as-air comedy and enough earthy reality to provoke a little discomfort in the reader.’ (New Zealand Books).

Her second novel 8 Stages of Grace (2002) was longlisted for the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2003 .

In 2004, Brown published a travel memoir Liars & Lovers. In her early twenties and with a marriage already behind her, she set off across the world by ship. Thirty years on, Brown tries to make sense of the old self as well as the new.

Learning to Lie Together (Random House, 2004) is a collection of poetry, dealing with relationships and with questions of time and place. Brown combines a lyrical style with remarkable candour and an eye for the absurd: ironing boards left in strange places, possums falling out of trees, screams in the park, men who throw everything out the door and much more.

In 2006, Godwit published Brown's memior and poetry collection, Here comes another vital moment, that considers the question, when does the ordinary become vital? For Diane, it is when she crosses boundaries: of countries, cultures and language; from poetry to prose; from the past to the present; the personal to the universal.

David Hill writes in the NZ Listener, 'The prose is packed, the b&w photos expressive and/or enigmatic, but the poetry really punches above its weight.'

Diane Brown won the 2012 Janet Frame Memorial Award.

In 2013 she was awarded the 2013 Beatson Fellowship, and made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education.

Her latest book, Taking My Mother To The Opera, (Otago University Press, 2015) is an extended poetic family memoir, in part about post World War Two domestic life and the ageing of parents.

Brown lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

Updated January 2017.