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10 Minutes with New Zealand Writer, Craig Cliff

Posted on 07/10/2014
By Commonwealth Foundation
“A short story can’t encompass as much as a novel, it can’t be as broad, and so it has to be selective, and it has to pick its fights. I think the same thing happens with a small country, both economically and culturally.”
Craig Cliff

Craig Cliff Portrait  (credit Darren Cliff)Craig is the author of the novel The Mannequin Makers (2013), described by The New Zealand Listener as ‘tremendous, darkly entertaining and original from start to finish’, and the short story collection A Man Melting (2011), which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Craig writes a column for the Dominion Post about his double life as a writer and public servant in Wellington, New Zealand, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He was a judge for the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
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The Mannequin MakersThe Manequin Makers (2013) – Craig’s novel details the story of a father who decides to raise his twins as living mannequins.
This Fluid Thrill – visit the New Zealand writer’s personal blog, for regular articles and updates, music and book reviews.
‘Parents in Decline’ – a 2014 short story by Craig published in the Griffith Review.
‘I didn’t set out to write a historical novel. In fact, I was struggling to write a contemporary novel when the adulterous urges struck’ – in this 2013 article written for the New Zealand Book Council website, Craig discusses how an uneasy relationship with historical fiction as a genre led to his novel The Mannequin Makers.
‘Confessions of a prize winner by Craig Cliff’ – Craig offers valuable advice for aspiring short story writers in his piece on winning a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

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