Annaleese Jochems

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Annaleese Jochems was born in 1994 and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. She won the 2016 Adam Prize from the International Institute of Modern Letters  and the 208 Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Baby, which is her first book. First published in New Zealand by Victoria University Press in 2017, it will be published in the UK and US in August 2019 by Scribe.

Praise for Baby:

‘Sultry, sinister, hilarious and demented, Baby blazes with intelligence and murderous black humour. Heavenly Creatures for a new generation.’ – Eleanor Catton

'Patricia Highsmith meets reality TV in this compelling debut. Jochems nudges up the tension until we can’t bear to look – and can’t bear to look away: thrilling, dangerous and deliciously funny.’ – Catherine Chidgey 

‘This funny, sexy, unnerving novel challenges received ideas and delivers jolts of pleasure and disquiet throughout. Jochems, like her extraordinary creation Cynthia, is a force to be reckoned with.’ –Emily Perkins

‘Taut, savvy, biting, and at points piercingly beautiful – Jochems's sentences shift from deadpan humour to lyrical simplicity to emotional menace with deft, edgy style.’ – Tracey Slaughter


Publication DetailsNotes

Victoria University Press

‘Cynthia can understand how Anahera feels just by looking at her body.’

Cynthia is twenty-one, bored and desperately waiting for something big to happen. Her striking fitness instructor, Anahera, is ready to throw in the towel on her job and marriage. With stolen money and a dog in tow they run away and buy ‘Baby’, an old boat docked in the Bay of Islands, where Cynthia dreams they will live in a state of love. But strange events on an empty island turn their life together in a different direction.

Baby is a sunburnt psychological thriller of obsession and escape by one of the most exciting new voices in New Zealand fiction.