Maurice Gee is a distinguished fiction writer. He has received numerous awards, nominations and grants for his adult fiction and also for his young adult and children’s books. Maurice Gee was among ten of New Zealand’s greatest living artists named as Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artists in 2003. His short stories and novels are well known for their real or imaginatively reworked local settings, dysfunctional families and sketches of violence. Gee’s numerous publications, and his wide readership, have contributed to his status as one of New Zealand’s most significant writers.
Maurice Gee is a multiple award-winning novelist. He has received three New Zealand Book Awards for Fiction: for A Glorious Morning, Comrade (1976), Plumb (1979), and The Burning Boy (1991). He has twice received the Esther Glen Award at the LIANZA Children's Book Awards, for Motherstone in 1986 and The Fat Man in 1995. He has also received two first place awards at the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards: for Plumb in 1979, and for Going West in 1993.
He was the 1964 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin. In 1989, he was the Victoria University Writers' Fellow.
Gee was the 1992 recipient of the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship. One of New Zealand's most long-standing and prestigious literary awards, the fellowship is offered annually to enable a New Zealand writer to work in Menton, France.
Since the completion of The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, Gee has published the novel Live Bodies (Penguin, 1998), which won the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 1998 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He has also published several books for children and/or young adults: most recently Hostel Girl (Puffin, 1999).
In 2002, Gee was honoured by the Children's Literature Foundation for his long-term contribution to childrens literature and literacy. The Foundation named Gee as the winner of the Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award.
Ellie and the Shadow Man (Penguin, 2001) was short-listed at the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. This novel of the story of Ellie, is told in fve parts, each languishing on a significant period of her life. It ranges from the 1950s when, as a girl, she lived in a YWCA hostel in Lower Hutt, to her twenties where she lives on a commune in Nelson, through to middle age, as she raises a son and becomes a painter. During this time she becomes involved with a series of rather feckless, forgettable men but also, most importantly of all, she becomes a painter of distinction. But her canvases are haunted by an enigmatic ghostly figure she thinks of as her shadow man, elusive but ever present.
Maurice Gee was among ten of New Zealand's greatest living artists named as Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artists at a ceremony in 2003.
The Scornful Moon was published by Penguin in 2003. Set in 1935 Wellington, the story centers on James Tinling, a former Cabinet Minister; Eric Clifton, world-renowned moon scientist, and Sam Holloway, literary man and moralist. The Scornful Moon (2003) was short-listed for Best Book in the South Pacific & South East Asian Region of the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
Maurice Gee's fantasy classic Under the Mountain was the winner of 2004 Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. This annual Children's Literature Foundation of New Zealand Award honours a New Zealand book that did not win an award at time of publication but has remained in print and won favour with readers.
Fracture, based on the novel Crime Story by Maurice Gee premiered in March 2004 at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington. The film, directed by Larry Parr, was released throughout New Zealand in June 2004.
In My Father's Den was made into a feature film of the same name, directed by Brad McGann and starring Matthew Macfadyen, Miranda Otto and Emily Barclay. It was released in New Zealand in 2004.
The Scornful Moon was a runner up in the fiction category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2004.
In 2004, Maurice Gee received a $60,000 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for fiction. That same year, he received an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree from The University of Auckland.
Maurice Gee's novel Blindsight (Penguin Books, 2005) won the Deutz Medal for Fiction, and the Montana Award for Fiction at the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Gee also jointly received the Readers' Choice Award with Fiona Kidman.
One of New Zealand's leading writers for both adults and children, Gee has won the Wattie/Montana Award three times, most recently with Live Bodies, which has sold more than 11,000 copies and like all his novels, was also published by Faber and Faber in the UK.
Salt (Penguin New Zealand, 2007), received the New Zealand Post Book Award for Young Adult Fiction at the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It was also listed as a 2008 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book.
Gool (Puffin Books) was listed as a 2009 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book.
In Access Road (Penguin, 2009), main character Rowan watches her younger brother lose the battle with his memories, and wonders how long she can keep her own past at bay. Access Road is a novel of chilling tension and expansive humanity; a beautifully crafted work of literature and a seductive family story.
Maurice Gee's children’s classic Under the Mountain was released as a major motion picture on 10th December 2009. A movie edition of the work was released by in the same year.
A New Zealand Book Council short film, featuring an excerpt from Maurice Gee's novel Going West, has recently been awarded an international prize for paper cut animation by New York’s Museum of Art and Design. The animation won the Museum's Choice grand prize award at Moving Paper, an international film festival of cut paper animation held at the museum in March. In addition, the film has also won two Axis Gold awards, in the Charity category and the Art Direction & Typography category. Launched last November, the Going West film quickly became a YouTube hit and reached the worldwide top 10 in the viral video charts. The two-minute film was produced for the Book Council by Colenso BBDO, who worked with Andersen M Studios in London to develop a concept that would show Gee’s classic New Zealand novel coming to life through hand-cut ‘pop-up’ scenery springing up from the pages. It was viewed online more than 725,000 times, inspired more than 3400 tweets on Twitter or blog posts worldwide, and reached number 8 in the Viral Video Chart compiled by Unruly Media.
Gee's most recent publication is The Limping Man (Penguin, 2010), the third in the Salt trilogy. The Limping Man was a finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2011.
Maurice Gee is the Honoured New Zealand Writer at the 2012 Auckland Writers & Readers Festival.
- Watch the Book Council's Going West short animated film based on Maurice Gee's classic book
- Maurice Gee’s bibliography in the Auckland University Library's New Zealand Literature File
- Maurice Gee’s profile as an Arts Foundation Icon Artist
- Maurice Gee on the Christchurch City Libraries Interviews with NZ Childrens Authors site
- Maurice Gee's NZ On Screen profile