Westaway, Jane

Westaway, Jane

Information

residence
Wellington

In Brief

Jane Westaway is a short story writer and novelist. Her first book, a collection of short stories for young adults, won the Best First Book award at the 1997 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. She has received numerous other grants and awards including the Readers Digest-PEN-Stout Fellowship 1993 and the Arts Council of New Zealand Children's Author's Bursary 1994. Westaway is a regular book reviewer for the New Zealand Herald, The Dominion Post and on National Radio. She is also co-editor of New Zealand Books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Westaway, Jane (1948 - ) is a short story writer and novelist. She has published short stories and novels for young adults. Her first novel for adults is Good at Geography (2000).

Born in the UK, Westaway moved to New Zealand as a teenager: an experience shared by the protagonist of Good at Geography. Graduating with a BA (Hons.) in Sociology and a Diploma in Journalism, Westaway's journalism has appeared in publications including the NZ Listener, More and Consumer.

Her first book, a collection of short stories for young adults, Reliable Friendly Girls (1997), won the Best First Book Award at the 1997 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

A novel for young adults, Love and Other Excuses (1999) 'sorts through the emotional tangles that love, in various forms, can cause... a very satisfying read.' (Raewyn Bright, The Dominion).

Westaway's first novel for adults is Good at Geography. Its protagonist, Isobel Midwinter, knows her world map well enough to see that moving to New Zealand from the UK really is the end of the world. Catharina van Bohemen writes in The Evening Post that 'Westaway describes with humour the familiar experiences of adjustment to life here - the emptiness of the country, the strangeness of Maori names as well as the oddness of Kiwi vocabulary and food.'

Jane Westaway has received numerous grants and awards including the Arts Council of New Zealand Children's Authors Bursary 1994, Readers Digest-PEN-Stout Fellowship 1993, PMA Health Journalism Award 1985, Wellington Publishing Company Scholarship 1982. She is a regular book reviewer for the New Zealand Herald, The Dominion and on National Radio.

In It Looks Better on You - New Zealand Women Writers on their Friendships (2003) edited by Jane Westaway & Tessa Copland, the editors called on NZ writers to pay tribute to women's friendships. Westaway & Copland 'looked for true stories from writers willing to go public on an intimate aspect of their lives.'

Jane Westaway is co-editor (with Harry Ricketts) of New Zealand Books.

Jane Westaway co-wrote Accusation: A Wife's Story with Mary Fielding (Longacre Press, 2005). It is Mary Fielding's gripping account of her husband's two-and-a-half year battle with the legal system, after he was charged on two counts of indecency. Mary tells of her emotional ordeal as her husband goes through a system she now sees as deeply flawed and shockingly unjust.

Her work appears in The Best of New Zealand Fiction. Volume Three (Vintage, 2006).

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

Updated January 2017.