Debra Daley

ANZL Member


Debra Daley is the author of novels The Revelations of Carey Ravine (Heron 2016), Turning the Stones (Heron 2014), and The Strange Letter Z (Bloomsbury, 1996) as well as several short stories. She also works as an editor. She was born in New Zealand and grew up in West Auckland. Her fiction has been described in the UK as ‘powerfully atmospheric’ (Rowan Pelling, Daily Telegraph columnist), and ‘gripping, tautly plotted and hauntingly beautiful’ (Vanora Bennett, author and former Times correspondent). In general her work combines a literary sensibility with commitment to an engaging narrative. Daley’s characters are often outsiders challenged with psychological and material survival in hostile worlds.

For many years Daley worked in the area of public health, editing newsletters and government reports, with a specialty in mental health.

Her early career was as a magazine journalist in London and Sydney and then as a screenwriter. She has written original TV dramas, (Universal Drive, The Shadow Trader, At the End of the Day, Pristine), that screened in New Zealand and around the world. According to the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, her television plays ‘are typically acutely observed and witty with a satirical edge tempered by a compassionate perspective’.

Debra has been a recipient of the Lilian Ida Smith Award for fiction, the Creative New Zealand Louis Johnson New Writers’ Bursary and the Sargeson Fellowship. She has an MA (Hons) from the University of Auckland in English Literature.

Her historical novel The Revelations of Carey Ravine (Heron/Quercus) was published in New Zealand, June 2016.



Debra Daley’s website


Lisa Doyle’s review of The Revelations of Carey Ravine (2015)

Author Q&A for Female First (2014)

 ‘My book deal moment’ for (2014)

Bibliography: Debra Daley



The Revelations of Carey Ravine (Heron – an imprint of Quercus, UK; Hachette New Zealand and Australia, 2016)

Turning the Stones (Heron – an imprint of Quercus, UK; Pan MacMillan New Zealand and Australia, 2014)

The Strange Letter Z  (Bloomsbury, UK and Penguin, New Zealand and Australia, 1996)



‘Her Climate is Cold’ Landfall, 211 (2006)

'Character to some extent is much a construction of the reader as it is of the writer.' - Lloyd Jones

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