Rosetta Allan

‘Rosetta Allan’s debut novel ‘Purgatory’ is one of those books that draws you into its exquisitely crafted, atmospheric and entirely believable world within the first couple of pages.’ Tanya Allport, Booklovers, June 2014. Rosetta Allan spent her formative writing years developing her strengths in the area of poetry, both writing and supporting poetry events in her hometown of Auckland. She has published two volumes of poetry: Little Rock, and Over Lunch. Her first novel, Purgatory, was published by Penguin Books in 2014. Purgatory was well recieved, and remained on the Nielsen Weekly Bestsellers List for two months, and was selected as an Apple iBook ‘Top Ten Best Reads of 2014’.  John McCrystal, Canvas Magazine, Weekend Herald, June 2014:  [One of her strengths] ‘is the characterisation, accomplished with a talent for capturing quirks of human behaviour, movement and appearance, along with an acute ear for dialogue, effort that isn’t spared even for minor characters.’  Her most recent essay ‘Dear mother – Songs of the Kamikaze’ featured in The Griffith Review 48, Enduring Legacies, 2015. She has been a contributor to anthologies in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and USA including Blackmail Press, NZ Poetry, Takahe, Interlitq, Whitireia NZ’s 4th Floor, Ika, Short and Twisted, and Broadsheet.  2017, Rosetta completed a Masters of Creative Writing and the University of Auckland with First Class Honours, and she was the recipient of a Sir James Wallace Masters of Creative Writing Scholarship.  Rosetta won the Kathleen Grattan Award for Best Series of Poetry 2010, the Metonomy Best Poem Award 2010, and was the South Pacific Pictures Emerging writer’s lab internship winner 2011. She is a regular speaker, guest artist, or emcee at local literary and historical events, has judged several poetry and short story awards, and co-edited JAAM literary journal 2015.  Rosetta was recently the first New Zealand writer in residence at the St Petersburg Art Residency in Russia. Her second novel The Unreliable People is to be released by Penguin Random House in May 2019, and she will take up the University of Waikato/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence in February.


  • Academic
  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Non-Fiction
  • Autobiography / Memoir
  • Business Writing
  • Crime
  • Drama
  • Feature Articles
  • Fiction
  • History
  • Horror
  • Management
  • Non-Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Review Writing
  • Short Stories
  • Thriller
  • Web Writing


  • Academic Writing
  • Corporate Writing
  • Competition Judging
  • Editing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Journalism
  • Long-Term Placement (schools, universities)
  • Manuscript Assessment
  • Mentoring
  • Novelist
  • Poetry Readings
  • Proofreading
  • Public Speaking
  • Readings
  • Readings (adults)
  • Resea







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.