Rosetta Allan

Rosetta is a bestselling writer who spent her formative writing years developing strengths in the area of poetry. Her work is widely anthologised, and she has published two volumes of poetry: Little Rock and Over Lunch. Penguin Books published her first novel, Purgatory, in 2014 and was selected as an Apple iBook Top Ten Best Reads of 2014.

Rosetta won the 2010 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, 2010 Metonymy Poetry Award, 2011 South Pacific Writer’s Lab Internship. In 2017, Rosetta completed her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland (First Class Honours) and was awarded a Sir James Wallace Masters of Creative Writing Scholarship. Rosetta was also the first New Zealand writer in residence at the St Petersburg Art Residency in Russia. Her second novel, The Unreliable People, set in Kazakhstan and Russia, was released by Penguin Random House, May 2019. Rosetta was the University of Waikato writer in residence in 2019. In August 2021, Penguin Random House released her latest novel, Crazy Love.


  • Crime
  • Drama
  • Feature Articles
  • Fiction
  • History
  • Poetry
  • Review Writing
  • Short Stories


  • Competition Judging
  • Editing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Long-Term Placement (schools, universities)
  • Manuscript Assessment
  • Mentoring
  • Novelist
  • Poetry Readings
  • Print Media Writing (magazines/newspapers)
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  • Tutoring







Historical fiction, based on the Otahuhu Murders of 1865. Published by Penguin Books NZ Ltd, in 2014. 'You don't want to be digging there,' Ma says like he can hear her. No one can hear her, just us boys. We're the dead Finnegans – Ma, Thomas, Ben and me. Ten-year-old John Finnegan can't leave his garden. Ever since they were murdered he, his brothers and his ma have been stuck there, caught between the worlds of the living and the dead. Unseen and unnoticed, he watches the events after his life unfold – including the actions of his murderer. James Stack is born dirt-poor on an Irish tenant farm and the great famine shadows his childhood. But his clever sister's lace making may save the family – until Aileen is sent to the other side of the world on a convict ship. To save her, James joins the redcoats and follows her across dangerous waters to a hopeful new land. But can he ever leave the death and hunger of his homeland behind? Based on the 1865 Otahuhu murders, Purgatory is a startling, gripping novel from an immensely talented new author.'

Little Rock

Over Lunch

The Unreliable People

A whole community deported across Soviet Russia, a rice farmer and his wife separated through time, a young art student searching for her identity and for love . . . Share this Is all love doomed under a heartless regime? Antonina is a student at the prestigious Academy of Art in St Petersburg. At times, though, she feels she might be a better fit at the Centre of Nonconformist Art across town. She knows she stands out as different, being neither Russian, Korean nor Kazakh — and yet she embodies all three. She is Koryo-saram: a descendant of the exiled population that Stalin labelled the Unreliable People. But what does that mean? And who was the strange, elegant woman who came to the window when Antonina was a young child? And why did she entice Antonina to climb out and go on a long train journey through Kazakhstan? This is a compelling story where love and loss intersect unexpectedly with a Korean fable about a crow king and a rice farmer’s wife.

Crazy Love

Based on the author's own experiences, this vivid novel explores how - as the Van Morrison song suggests - crazy love can take away the troubles. It can, though, add a whole lot more.

Based on the author's own experiences, this vivid novel explores how - as the Van Morrison song suggests - crazy love can take away the troubles. It can, though, add a whole lot more.'We save each other, don’t we, when we are in love.'

It has been 28 years since Vicki last sent a letter to Robert Muldoon. Last time she wrote, he was Prime Minister, while she was living with her loser-boyfriend and wanting to know why people like her had to exist in such dire straits. Back then, Muldoon sent her a dollar, but it was the irrepressible Billy who turned up and transformed her life. This time Muldoon is dead and it is Billy who has made her so desperate she doesn’t know where to turn.

Since running away with Billy, Vicki has barely looked back. Together they have become a family and prospered. They have survived so much, but can they survive Billy’s increasingly erratic behaviour, especially when he seems so set on pulling them apart?