Sue Orr

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Matt Bialostocki

Sue Orr is an award winning fiction writer. Author Fiona Kidman wrote: ‘Sue Orr’s stories have that mesmerising quality that makes the reader race on, hoping they will never end, yet desperate to find out what happens next…I admire these stories immensely: by turn tender, sly, comic, and always deeply informed about the ways of the human heart’.

Sue’s first novel, The Party Line (Vintage, 2015), achieved critical acclaim, was a New Zealand best seller for five months and published in 25 countries. Her short story collection, From Under the Overcoat (Penguin Random House, 2011) was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Book Awards and won the People’s Choice Award (2012). Her short story collection Etiquette for a Dinner Party (Penguin Random House, 2008) won the Lilian Ida Smith Award. The Otago Daily Times described this collection as ‘a wonderfully diverse, yet believable collection of characters and maladies stretching across a classic New Zealand landscape’. Her work has been published in New Zealand and international anthologies, translated into Spanish and been optioned for film.

Sue has read, chaired or performed at a variety of national literary festivals. She has a background in feature-writing journalism and a great deal of experience at interviewing.

In 2011 Sue was the Sargeson Buddle Findlay Fellow. She currently teaches creative writing at Manukau Institute of Technology and occasionally writes and reviews for the NZ Listener, Metro and The Spinoff. This included an essay for Metro on Rachel Barrowman’s biography of Maurice Gee (September, 2015) and an extensive interview with author Michel Faber for The Listener (April, 2016).

Sue completed her PhD in Creative Writing through Victoria University, Wellington.



Sue on Twitter

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Penguin Random House author page

Radio New Zealand review of The Party Line (Sept, 2015)

Stuff review of The Party Line (26 Sept, 2015)

Stuff review of The Party Line (20 Sept, 2015)

NZ Herald review of The Party Line (Sept, 2015)

NZ Listener review of The Party Line (Aug, 2015)

NZ Listener review of From Under The Overcoat (July, 2012)

Bibliography: Sue Orr



The Party Line (Penguin Random House / Vintage, 2015)

From Under The Overcoat (Short stories: Penguin Random House / Vintage, 2011)

Etiquette for a Dinner Party (Short stories: Penguin Random House / Vintage, 2008)


'Novels stand outside time, with their narrative structure of beginning, middle and end. They outlast politics, which are by nature ephemeral, swift and changeable and can quickly become invisible, detectable only to the skilled eye. ' - Fiona Farrell

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