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Randall, Charlotte
Writer's File

Charlotte Randall

Canterbury - Waitaha
Randall, Charlotte
In brief
Charlotte Randall is a novelist. Her first book won two prestigious awards and her later novels have also been nominated for national awards. Randall’s subject matter is varied, and ranges from the effects of medical science to the implications of a man’s incarceration in a 19th century mental asylum. Relationships within families are a recurring element in Randall’s fiction.


Randall, Charlotte is a novelist whose first book Dead Sea Fruit (1995) won the Reed Fiction Award and the Best First Book award in the South East Asia / Pacific section of the 1996 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. The book tells of two Dunedin families in the 1960s and 1970s.

Her second novel is The Curative (2000). Marion McLeod writes in New Zealand Books 'This is an amazing and amazingly good novel... truly exceptional.' The novel is told by a man incarcerated in a 19th century mental asylum. The Curative was runner up in the Fiction section of the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Born and raised in Dunedin, Randall attended the University of Canterbury, she now lives in Wellington.

Charlotte Randall was the 2000 Victoria University Writers' Fellow.

She was one of four authors shortlisted for the inaugural Glenn Schaeffer Prize in Modern Letters. With a cash award of $60,000 it is Australasia's most lucrative literary award.

Randall's novel Within the Kiss (2002) is a satiric retelling of the story of Faust, against a modern tennis background. The thirst for knowledge has been replaced by obsession. It was written during her term as the Victoria University of Wellington Writing Fellow in 2000.

What Happen Then, Mr Bones? (Penguin Books, 2004) follows the fortunes, both good and bad, of one family and shows how deeply their lives, and deaths, are affected by achievements and misadventures in medical science.

What Happen Then, Mr Bones? was a finalist in the fiction category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2005.

Charlotte Randall was the 2005 Ursula Bethell Creative Writing Resident (formerly Canterbury University Writer in Residence). The residency is designed to foster New Zealand writing by providing a full-time opportunity for a writer to work in an academic environment, and is open to writers in the fields of creative writing: fiction, drama, and poetry.

The Crocus Hour (Penguin, 2008) is a story of love and grief, set in Crete.

Hokitika Town
(Penguin, 2011) is Randall's seventh novel, and is set in the 1865 gold rush, focusing on a young boy, Halfie. Paula Green reviewed the book for The New Zealand Herald, saying, 'This is a story of tenderness, empathy and resilience.'

Randall's new novel, The Bright Side of My Condition (Penguin, 2014), has been described as a 'riveting, intelligent and powerful work of fiction'. It is a finalist in the Fiction category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014.