Annamarie Jagose was born in 1965 in Ashburton, New Zealand. She returned to Auckland in 2003, after more than a decade of living in Melbourne, and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland.
Annamarie has written three novels. The first, In Translation (1994), is about a love triangle sustained between India and New Zealand via airmail dispatches of the translation-in-progress of a Japanese novel. In Translation won the PEN Society of Authors Best First Fiction prize in 1994. The second, Lulu: A Romance (1998), was inspired by accounts of language acquisition experiments with chimpanzees in post-war America. It is about a couple raising a chimpanzee in their home, their domestic life transformed by the unpredictable shifts of affection and desire that get played out around her.
Slow Water is Annamarie’s third novel, her first foray into historical fiction. Based on a true story, Slow Water is a poised and elegant novel of the highest order with its commitment to historical accuracy exquisitely balanced by its modern attention to eroticism and narrative suspense. Annamarie worked full-time on the novel for more than a year in order to immerse herself in the everyday business of an early nineteenth-century sea voyage.
In 2004, Slow Water won New Zealand’s major fiction prize, the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The judges called Slow Water "an unusual and unusually satisfying work of fiction" by one of "New Zealand's best novelists".
Slow Water also won a prestigious Australian prize, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction in 2004. The judges report that "Annamarie Jagose's impressively researched novel SlowWater recreates a boat journey to Australia and New Zealand in the 1830s with a remarkable precision of detail and authenticity of language. At the same time, it performs an exciting intervention into how we might imagine the histories of European colonization, and reflects on a famous gay scandal of the era from both white and Maori perspectives. Jagose switches effortlessly between the points of view of her many characters as she carefully unfolds her love story with touching humanity and sympathetic humour".
Annamarie’s novel was one of three books shortlisted in 2004 for Australia’s premier literary prize, the Australian Miles Franklin Literary Award.
In addition to her fiction, Annamarie is the author of three scholarly works in lesbian literary studies and queer critical theory and co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.