Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. She began learning the violin at the age of seven and entered the performance music programme at Canterbury University at 17, though ultimately changed her degree to pursue writing. She holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland and an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington.
Her first book of poetry, The Violinist in Spring, was published by Victoria University Press in 2005, and was listed as one of the Best Books of 2006 by the New Zealand Listener. She and her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, lived in Tokyo for two years before moving to the United Kingdom where she completed a PhD at University College London. From 2009 to 2012, she was a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire.
She lives on Wellington's south coast with her husband and daughter.
Anna Smaill recommends
The Upstairs Room (2017)
"A brilliantly observed and utterly unnerving ghost story of contemporary feminism and the housing crisis. Murray-Browne turns the screws so cleverly that the moment you long to break the novel's breathless grip is also the moment you recognize that its world is actually your own."
The Ruins (2020)
"The Ruins is such a brilliant and idiosyncratic thing. It's hectic, soulful, elegant, and wickedly clever. It somehow approximates the immersive experience of listening to a life-changing album, and it also has some of the best line-by-line prose I've read in a really long time."
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