Elizabeth Knox is the author of nine novels for adults: After Z-Hour (1987), Treasure, (1992, shortlisted for the 1993 NZ Book Awards), Glamour and the Sea (1996), The High Jump: A New Zealand Childhood (Paremata 1989, Pomare 1994 and Tawa 1998), The Vintner’s Luck (1998), Black Oxen (2001), Billie’s Kiss (2002), Daylight (2003) and The Angel's Cut (2009).
She has recently published Dreamhunter and Dreamquake (Harper Collins), a two book series for young adults. Dreamhunter won the 2006 Esther Glen Award for New Zealand children’s literature, and Dreamquake won an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Award for Young Adult Literature in 2008. A collection of Elizabeth's nonfiction called The Love School: Personal Essays was published to acclaim in 2008. It was shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in the Autobiography category.
She is one of New Zealand's most successful writers and has a keen readership both in New Zealand and overseas.
‘Knox is a writer with a gift for describing the colour of the present moment … she lets her language breathe, lets it speak in revelations rather than explanations.’ —Times Literary Supplement
Daylight had critics in the US comparing Knox to the Queen of the vampire novelists saying Daylight is ‘on a par with the best Anne Rice has to offer’ and calling it an ‘illuminating tour-de-force’, while Metro called it ‘mysterious, thrilling, erotic’. Her 2001 novel Black Oxen was published simultaneously in the US, the UK and New Zealand and was a NZ number one bestseller. Billie’s Kiss made a spectacular entry into the NZ bestseller list on the strength of one afternoon’s sales and then shot straight to number one in the following list. Billie’s Kiss was shortlisted in the 2002 Montana NZ Book Awards.
The book that Elizabeth is perhaps best known for is The Vintner’s Luck, first published 1998, which was a huge bestseller in New Zealand. It has sold over 45,000 copies in New Zealand and over 100,00 copies worldwide. The Vintner’s Luck was published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Picador US, and in the UK by Chatto & Windus and Vintage. It has been published in German, Dutch, Norwegian, Spanish and Hebrew. It won the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 1999 The Montana NZ Book Awards, where it also received the Readers’ Choice and Booksellers’ Choice awards. It was longlisted for the 1999 Orange Prize for fiction (UK) The Vintner’s Luck won the 2001 Tasmania Pacific Region Prize.
In honour of its tenth anniversary, a signed, numbered limited edition (1000 copies) of The Vintner's Luck was published in November 2008.
Her sequel to The Vintner's Luck, The Angel's Cut, was published in 2009.
Elizabeth has also won several personal awards and fellowships, including the ICI Young Writers Bursary, a Scholarship in Letters (1993) and was the Writing Fellow Victoria University Of Wellington in 1997. Elizabeth Knox was an inaugural recipient of a Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2000. ‘Elizabeth Knox's achievement is already considerable with the break-through success of The Vintner's Luck,’ says Arts Foundation panel member and poet Bill Manhire. ‘We believe she is about to become a major international writer.’ In 2002 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).
Elizabeth was born in 1959. She studied at Victoria University of Wellington and attended Bill Manhire's Creative Writing course. She lives in Wellington with her husband and son.