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Elizabeth Knox


Author Elizabeth Knox's novels range in locale from the places near Wellington where she grew up, to French vineyards, Scottish islands and the skies above Hollywood. 

Knox's early works include the partly-autobiographical novellas Paramata, Pomare, and Tawa, which examine a young girl's childhood and adolescence. In 2000 the trilogy was collected together in one volume, as The High Jump.  

Knox's ambition was clear from early on: the cast of her 1987 debut After Z-Hour includes three narrators and the ghost of a New Zealand soldier, while 1992's Treasure encompasses a campus love story, faith healing and a North Carolina Christian settlement. 

Knox made her international breakthrough in 1998 with her seventh book, the bestselling The Vintner's Luck, which signalled a move into fantasy. This period tale of a French winemaker and an angel won the Montana Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction, and the Tasmania Pacific Region Prize. 

Director Niki Caro, who made her own breakthrough adapting Witi Ihimaera's Whale Rider, has directed a film of The Vintner's Luck, after writing the script alongside American script consultant Joan Scheckel. The film saw New Zealand release in November 2009; the cast includes Belgian Jeremie Renier (star of the acclaimed The Child), rising French talent Gaspard Ulliel (A Very Long Engagement), and Whale Rider star Keisha Castle-Hughes

Following her book of The Vintner's Luck, Knox continued exploring both the globe and her imagination with the Latin-American set Black Oxen, bestselling Scottish shipwreck story Billie's Kiss, and mediterranean vampire tale Daylight. The latter novel was shortlisted for Best Book in the local region of the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize. Industry publication Publishers Weekly called it an "illuminating tour-de-force", and compared Daylight to the best work of Interview with a Vampire author Anne Rice. 

Knox has also written two award-winning books for young adults, Dreamhunter and its sequel Dreamquake. The novels are set in an alternate New Zealand in which hunters catch dreams and then share them with the paying public in theatre-like dream palaces. 

Knox's latest novel is Vintner's Luck sequel The Angel's Cut, which brings the angel Xas into the world of stunts amid 20s-era Hollywood. 

Her screen work includes interviewing legendary children's author Margaret Mahy for offbeat documentary A Tall, Long Faced Tale. Working with director Neil Pardington, she also co-wrote 1994 short film The Dig, which chronicles what ensues after a retired couple begin to excavate beneath their house. 

Knox has been interviewed for arts shows The Big Art Trip (series one, episode six) and The Edge (series two, episode six, in which author C.K. Stead reviews her book Pomare). Knox herself has also reviewed books for show Bookenz.

Elizabeth Knox studied English and creative writing at Victoria University, and is married to Victoria University Press head Fergus Barrowman. She has also been a co-editor and sometime contributor to literary magazine Sport. In 2002 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.