Stephen Daisley

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Darren James

At the age of 53, Stephen Daisley sold his first novel Traitor to Text Publishing. He subsequently won the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction and UTS Glenda Adams Award. This same novel was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers for Best First Book, the Western Australia Premieres Literary Awards and NSW Christina Stead Prize for Fiction. Stephen’s second novel, Coming Rain, won the 2016 Ockham Award and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Reviewer James Bradley (The Australian) wrote that ‘Daisley’s prose possesses a shimmering, allusive beauty reminiscent of John McGahern.’

Born in 1955 in Hastings, New Zealand, Stephen spent five years in the army before living in Bangkok, then worked in Australia and New Zealand as a sheep herder, bush cutter, truck driver, construction worker and bartender. After beginning his marriage and family life in New Zealand he eventually moved to Australia, attending Murdoch University and then the University of Western Australia for Post Graduate studies, supervised by Australian writer Gail Jones. During this time, Stephen underwent what he describes as his ’30 year literary apprenticeship’.

Stephen is currently working on two novels. The first is about the Australian refugee issue. The second is set in the Whanganui/Hiruharama area of New Zealand. This novel explores the healing of a damaged Kiwi Vietnam veteran, a subject Stephen cares deeply about.

Stephen lives in Western Australia with his wife and five children.



Text Publishing author page

NZ Listener post-Ockham Award interview (May, 2016)

NZ Herald article (May, 2016)

Radio New Zealand interview (June, 2015)

Bibliography: Stephen Daisley



Coming Rain (Text Publishing, 2015)

Traitor (Text Publishing, 2010)

'I felt energised by the freedom of 'making things up’' - Maxine Alterio

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