Jolisa Gracewood

Writer, reviewer, literary editor.

Photograph of Jolisa Gracewood
Photo credit: Marti Friedlander


Jolisa Gracewood was born in 1968 and grew up in Naenae and Papatoetoe. After studying Japanese and French at the University of Canterbury, she spent two years at the University of Tokyo as a research student. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University.


While in the USA, Jolisa taught students at Cornell and Yale Universities how to write essays and non-fiction prose, co-edited two anthologies of Japanese short stories for advanced learners and wrote about books for her local newspaper and for New Zealand magazines. In her blog, ‘Busytown’, she wrote about raising her two sons in New York City and New Haven, CT. Since moving back to New Zealand with her family in 2012, Jolisa has worked as a literary editor, book reviewer, literary festival panellist and freelance urban activist, and still subscribes to The New Yorker.