Queen Of Beauty

Penguin New Zealand, 2002

Winner of the NZSA Hubert Church Award for Best First Book of Fiction, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 2003

Winner of the Adam Prize for Creative Writing 2001

Virginia Seton lives in rainy, seedy New Orleans, working as a researcher for an historical novelist with a “strip-mined” imagination. She spends most of her time in her friend Arthur’s run-down book store in the French Quarter, ransacking her family history for stories to feed her employer.

She returns to New Zealand for a chaotic few weeks to attend her sister’s wedding, and finds that while some things have stayed the same, many things have changed forever. Picking through the past, she’s only beginning to understand the number of stories, secrets and lies around her, in New Orleans and New Zealand, in the present and the past.


‘A stunning debut novel … a masterful work.’

New Zealand Herald

‘Local debut of the year … a warm, unsentimental portrait of a family in all its confusion and conflicting stories.’

The Listener

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