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New Zealand

Catherine Chidgey

Photo © Helen Mayall

Catherine Chidgey

Catherine Chidgey’s novels have been published to international acclaim. Her first, In a Fishbone Church, won the Betty Trask Award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second, Golden Deeds, was a Notable Book of the year in the New York Times Book Review and a Best Book in the LA Times Book Review. She has a degree in German literature and lived in Berlin during the 1990s. She now lives in Ngâruawâhia, New Zealand, and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Waikato.

All Catherine Chidgey's books

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A few questions with Catherine Chidgey, author of Remote Sympathy

Latest reviews

  • “An incredibly accomplished novel.”
    — Word by Word, Feb 21 2022
  • “Highly original and deeply researched, Catherine Chidgey’s Remote Sympathy is a powerful and disturbing study in terrible lies and the human need to believe them. Few readers will close the covers of this book unshaken.”
    — Annie Proulx, Jan 1 2022
  • “Chidgey is a find.”
    — The TLS, Aug 31 2021
  • “One of the most original, brave and profound explorations of the darkest recesses of the human heart I have ever read.”
    — Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, Aug 1 2021
  • “Powerful.”
    — The New York Times, Jul 13 2021
  • “Remote Sympathy will touch your heart and imprint on your soul. This is a thought provoking tale of love, dignity and sacrifice, encompassing, as it does, a grief so huge that only the human heart can bear it, though goodness knows how.”
    — NB Magazine, Jun 2 2021
  • “An insightful account of human nature set against the chaos of war. It is a moving examination of the human condition and well worth serious attention.”
    — Historical Novels Review, May 31 2021
  • “With its multiple registers and complex view of humanity, this marks a vital turn in Holocaust literature.”
    — Publishers Weekly, May 31 2021
  • “The writing is beautifully wrought and the research a result of years of study. The true sympathetic vitaliser here is the novelist. She illustrates the senseless cruelty of the regime and portrays its characters convincingly, not as monsters but deluded, indulged and frightened...
    — The Jewish Chronicle, May 20 2021
  • “Immersive, profound, and beautifully plotted.”
    — The Guardian, May 13 2021
  • “Remote Sympathy is concerned with our ability to look the other way when faced with uncomfortable truths.”
    — The Big Issue, May 1 2021
  • “Insightful... staggering....chilling. Remarkably powerful.”
    — Lizzy’s Literary Life, Apr 26 2021
  • “Are there new ways to tell stories of the Holocaust that are neither crass nor exploitative? In this moving and unusual novel, the New Zealand writer Catherine Chidgey shows that there are. Chidgey’s novel is a fine achievement.”
    — The Sunday Times, Apr 23 2021
  • Okham New Zealand/Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction. Remote Sympathy is one of 4 titles included in the final selection. “This transcendent novel about ‘wilful blindness’ is written as a series of letters, interviews and diary entries told from four different...
    — NZ Book Awards, Mar 17 2021
  • “With its multiple registers and complex view of humanity, this marks a vital turn in Holocaust literature.”
    — Publishers Weekly, Mar 1 2021