Gigi Fenster

Gigi’s work explored self-induced fever and the creative mind. She integrated literary analysis, history, legal theory and memoir into a novel form.

PhD awarded 2016

Gigi’s first novel, The Intentions Book, was published by Te Herenga Waka University Press in 2012 and shortlisted in the Fiction category of the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards. She has published short stories in various literary journals, both in New Zealand and abroad. She has a masters in creative writing from Victoria University of Wellington and various law degrees. She was the 2012 recipient of the Todd New Writers' Bursary.

Gigi teaches creative writing at Rimutaka Prison as part of the Write Where You Are Collective, and received a Corrections Volunteer Award in 2016. Her most recent book, Feverish: A Memoir (Te Herenga Waka University Press) was launched during the 2017 Writers and Readers Festival in Wellington.

She was the winner of the 2020 Michael Gifkins Prize, including a publishing contract with Text, for her second novel, A Good Winter.

Gigi writes: 'In my PhD, I explored the theme of fever, as it is portrayed in literature and viewed by writers. In particular I was interested in exploring works which were inspired by, or which describe, feverish dreams. My thesis is a work of creative non-fiction which explores the implications of somebody wanting to induce a fever in themselves for creative ends. Creative and non-fiction elements were used to interrogate the concerns which inducing a fever for creative ends might bring to the fore. What legal, ethical, medical, economic and philosophical issues might the self inducing of a fever raise? Are these issues different when the fever is being induced for creative reasons to when it is induced for medical or scientific research?'

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