Sarah Gaitanos is the author of The Violinist: Clare Galambos Winter, Holocaust Survivor (Victoria University Press 2011), and Nola Millar: A Theatrical Life (Victoria University Press 2006), and co-author with Allan Bollard of bestseller, Crisis: One Central Governor and the Global Financial Collapse (Auckland University Press 2010).

Sarah’s main current project is a biography of barrister and solicitor Shirley Smith. Overshadowed in the public mind by her high profile husband, public economist Dr W. B. Sutch, Shirley Smith was herself a force for change in areas of justice and human rights. In 2011 Sarah received a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant to carry out initial research for this subject. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2012 to continue research in Europe and the United States. She was the J. D. Stout Fellow for 2013, since when she has been a resident scholar at the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. In 2015 she received a research grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation to research Shirley Smith’s legal practice from 1961 to 1989.  Sarah welcomes contact with people with relevant personal memories and/or correspondence.

While she now specialises in biography, Sarah has explored various writing paths, reflecting her wide interests, since she started freelance journalism in the 1980s. She regularly published travel writing, features on the arts, landscape design and architecture; also children’s readers and short fiction. Her work as an oral historian has been integral to her writing, as has her photography.

Sarah is married with three adult sons. She is a member of the Orpheus Choir of Wellington which she first joined in 1983. She can regularly be seen walking her dog in the hills and along the riverbank of the Hutt Valley where she lives.








Not that she always has her feet on the ground …






C’est moi!