Reidy, Sue

Reidy, Sue


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In Brief

Sue Reidy is an Auckland-based novelist, poet and freelance manuscript assessor and corporate writer. She has had three novels published internationally (The Visitation, Four Ways to be a Woman,and L'Amore Secondo Miranda), as well as a collection of short stories (Modettes). She is a former Buddle Findlay Sargeson literary fellow and a BNZ Katherine Mansfield short story winner. She has been a runner-up in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Award, and a book of her non-fiction was shortlisted in the 2015 Ashton Wylie Book Awards.


For many years Sue Reidy was well-known as a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and design tutor. During this time she designed hundreds of New Zealand’s book jackets, and her illustrations were reproduced in leading magazines.

In 1987, Reidy received the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. Many of her short stories have been broadcast on National Radio and appeared in the Listener, Metro, JAAM, Landfall, the Sunday Star Times and the Australian Women’s Weekly, as well as in several anthologies, including Penguin 25 New Fiction 1998, The Penguin Book of Contemporary Short Stories 1989, Wee Girls: An International Collection of Irish Women’s Writing and Good-bye to Romance, to mention a few.

She was runner-up in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Award in 1995.

Her short story collection Modettes and Other Stories (Penguin Books NZ, 1988) are set primarily in South-East Asia, defying notions of realism by shifting between reality, dream and fantasy with an often humorous directness of tone.

Her first novel, The Visitation, was published internationally in 1996 and shortlisted in the fiction section of the 1997 Montana NZ Book Awards. The novel was described by Kirkus Reviews (US) as 'a wickedly funny, laugh-out-loud first novel...' and 'an offbeat, surprisingly entertaining look at Catholic girlhood, by a writer with a predator's eye for comic detail'. In the US Library Journal – 'The Virgin's evolution into a leader of the women's rights movement is forced but rollickingly funny in parts; the novel is also a deeply serious look at the fraught journey to self-knowledge, teen sexual experimentation, and the spiritual lives of girls and women.'

Four Ways to Become a Woman (2000), Reidy’s second novel, was published by Transworld in Britain, and by Random House in Australia and New Zealand. It charts a friendship between four women that has survived since their convent days. Once they had believed they could do anything they wanted. Now, rapidly approaching forty, they are having to take stock.

According to Wellington’s Evening Post, in Four Ways to be a Woman 'Sue Reidy captures perfectly the self-flagellating internal monologue of the modern woman. These characters are in constant and amusing debate with themselves over the gap between how they ought to be and how they are.'

Sue Reidy was awarded a 2000 Buddle Finlay Sargeson Writers Fellowship.

Reidy's third novel L'Amore Secondo Miranda, was published by Newton Compton Editori, Italy, in 2010. It is a redemptive novel about two misfits seeking self-determination in different ways and whose lives mysteriously connect. The novel paints a sensitive and sympathetic portrait of a young transsexual and an underground world that most of us barely comprehend.

A book of her non-fiction was shortlisted in the 2015 Ashton Wylie Book Awards.


Updated March 2017.