Anthony McCarten

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Diogenes Verlag

Born in New Zealand in 1961, London-living Anthony McCarten is an award winning film-maker, novelist and playwright. He is an Honorary Literary Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Authors in ‘Recognition of Outstanding Literary Achievement’.

Anthony’s novels have been translated into 14 languages. His first, Spinners, was voted one of the top ten novels of 2000 by Esquire magazine. In 2005, his second novel, The English Harem, became an international best seller. His third, Death Of A Superhero, won the 2008 Austrian Youth Literature Prize and was a finalist for the 2008 German Youth Literature Prize. A major motion picture, from McCarten’s screenplay adaptation, was filmed in 2011. His latest, and seventh novel, funny girl, a fictional account of the world first Muslim female stand-up comedian, has just been published to acclaim.

As a film maker, Anthony has written five feature films and directed two himself.  All were screened internationally. Theory of Everything, (2014) was nominated for five Academy Awards, including two for McCarten, for Best Film (as producer) and Best Adapted Screenplay. He won two BAFTA awards in the same categories for the same film.

McCarten received early international success with his play Ladies Night. Translated into twelve languages, it remains New Zealand’s most commercially successful play of all time. In 2001, it won France’s premiere theatre award for comedy, the Molière Prize. In addition, he is the author of eleven other widely performed stage plays.

Anthony now divides his time between Los Angeles and London.



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Penguin Random House author page 

Playmarket playwright page

NZ OnScreen bio page

Youtube: Closeup Writers Round Table with Anthony McCarten discussing The Two Popes (Dec, 2019)

Bibliography: Anthony McCarten



funny girl (Alma Books [UK], Random House [NZ], Diogenes [Germany], 2015)

In the Absence of Heroes (Random House, NZ;  Diogenes ,Germ., 2012)

Show of Hands (Diogenes [Germ.], Simon and Schuster [US], Random House [NZ], 2008)

Death of a Superhero (Alma Books, 2006, 2007)

Brilliance (Hawthorne Books [US], Alma Books [UK], Random House [NZ], Diogenes [Germany], 2006)

The English Harem (Picador, 2002, reprinted (film-tie-in) Alma Books’ 2006)

Spinners (Random House [New Zealand], 1999, Harper Perennial [US], 2001)


Creative Nonfiction

The Pope: Francis, Benedict, and the Decision That Shook the World (Flatiron Books [US], 2019)

Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought Us Back from the Brink (Penguin/Viking [UK], Harper Collins [US], 2017)

'I want you to think about what you would like to see at the heart of your national literature ' - Tina Makereti

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