Tail of the Taniwha: A Collection of Short Stories

by Courtney Sina Meredith

Tail of the Taniwha is Meredith’s first book of short stories and follows her much lauded 2012 collection of poems Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick (Beatnik Publishing) and multi-award-winning 2010 play Rushing Dolls (Playmarket, 2012).


I wish you’d known me in my last life; I was so together. I had savings and a dog.

Maybe you should come with a warning though - like how they have those sickly pictures on cigarette packets? WARNING: Dating this woman may lead to insomnia, lack of appetite and reduced libido.


Snippets of witty conversations between ex-lovers and young artists make way for discussions of serious family secrets; dreams of red lilies and tapu stars co-exist with dreams of bottle-shop wine at supermarket prices.


We were taught to pity people with tattoos; my father said they were making life very hard for themselves and that they couldn't expect to find good jobs. I have the Southern Cross glittering down my back.

“Fabulously sassy, Meredith turns her poetic lens to short fiction, capturing her journey from urbanesia to metropolitan Europe. Tail of the Taniwha is her smashing debut collection.” –Robert Sullivan

“This is fine work. There is a lot of energy in the prose and on the strength of the observations and insights along the way we trust the voice.”  
–Lloyd Jones, Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Overall Book for Mister Pip

“...loud, lyrical, and audacious.” –Paula Morris, Winner of the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Rangatira