Paula Morris - False River Book Cover
Penguin New Zealand, 2017

Everything I’ve written here is true, apart from the things that are wrong, and the things that are lies, and the things that are misremembered.

This collection of short works – fiction and creative nonfiction – around the theme of lies and secret histories is named for its title story, finalist in the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the world’s richest short-story prize.

The stories and essays roam from a witch-burning in Denmark to murder in Antwerp to adultery in Rome, from contested grave-sites – Robert Johnson in Mississippi, Billy the Kid in New Mexico – to contested versions of the Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, from a contemporary take on a Katherine Mansfield story to the last word on Jane Austen plot-lines.


“A thread runs through Paula Morris’ new collection of terse stories and interrogating essays … Truth is a sinuous and malleable thing, bent to the needs of characters and creators alike.”
– James Robins, New Zealand Herald

“This is an invigorating, sophisticated collection from a writer at the top of her form.”
– Paul Little, Books of the Year, North & South

“[The] sharp intelligence of the author, the skill in handling different genres, the factual research, the attention to telling detail and – yes – the tender regard for forebears are all here, and all make this a wonderful read.”
– Nicholas Reid, Dominion Post