Johnston, Christine

Johnston, Christine

Information

residence
Otago

In Brief

Christine Johnston writes fiction for adults and young adults. She has written a number of novels and published a collection of short stories, The End of the Century, in 1999. The Shark Bell, a novel about family secrets and shifting identities, was released in 2002, and she was the 2004 recipient of the Robert Burns Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in journals and has been broadcast on national radio.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Johnston, Christine (1950 –) is a fiction writer for adults and young adults. She was born in Dunedin where she still lives and where she held a Robert Burns Fellowship in 1994.

Her first book was a novel for adults, Blessed Art Thou Among Women (1991), which won the Heineman Reed Fiction Award. 'I liked it so much because of the intensity and oddness of the vision,' wrote Angela Carter. 'Its great strength is a freshness and originality.'

This successful debut was followed by three novels for young adults: Goodbye Molly McGuire (1994); The Haunting of Lara Lawson (1995); and A Friend of Jack McGuire (1996).

Johnston published a collection of short stories, The End of the Century, in 1999. Some of the pieces had previously appeared in Landfall, Metro, and Sport, or had been broadcast on National Radio.

'Johnston's stories explore the 'burbs as the emotional hinterland, the place where most people live,' writes the NZ Listener. 'There you get banality, but also epiphanies, minor moments of revelation, small truths, domestic realism... Do not underestimate the power of these stories. They expertly capture the furtive, gossipy interconnectedness of whole sections of middle New Zealand.'

Johnston's The Shark Bell (2002) is a novel about family secrets and shifting identities, about how we choose to deal with the past and how in the end, like the shark out in the bay circling beneath the waves, it must always be reckoned with.

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

Updated January 2017.