Sarah Laing is a fiction writer and graphic artist who writes, designs and illustrates books. The author of a graphic memoir, two novels, and a collection of short stories, she has also illustrated children’s books and designed and edited an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women’s comics.
Her literary career was launched after winning the Sunday Star Times short story competition (2006). Her first short story collection was published the following year to critical acclaim. ‘Sarah Laing is our next great short-story writer…Sarah Laing is a real talent’, wrote Siobhan Harvey in The Press. Sarah completed her debut novel Dead People’s Music at the Michael King Writers Centre, as a Writer-in-Residence. Jolisa Gracewood described it as a novel ‘brimming with narrative pleasures’. In 2010, Sarah was selected to be a Fellow at the Sargeson Centre alongside Sonja Yelich and it was there she began her popular blog, Let Me Be Frank, chronicling her writing and parenting life in comics. This led to regular columns in Metro and Little Treasures, a series of comic books published by Pikitia Press, and her decision to make her 2013 novel The Fall of Light part prose, part illustration. Sarah Dunn of The Nelson Mail wrote: ‘The Fall of Light offers a fresh new perspective on life as a New Zealander through irresistible characters. I loved it’.
Sarah was the University of Auckland / Michael King Writers’ Centre Fellow (2013), and there she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations. This was launched in 2016 by Victoria University Press, in time for Mansfield’s 128th birthday. Mansfield and Me was longlisted in the illustrated non fiction category of the 2017 Ockham Awards.
Recently Sarah released a new book Let Me Be Frank (Victoria UP, 2019) which is a collection of her blog comics, thematically selected, and includes one hundred pages of previously unpublished material.
Sarah Laing’s website and blog
Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page
Random House Books NZ author page
Reviews of Sarah Laing’s work
Radio New Zealand interview by Kim Hill (1 Oct, 2016)