Published: Lightning Books (May 2018)

ISBN:  9781785630705

Mansfield and Me

Sarah Laing


A graphic memoir

The only writer who inspired jealousy in Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in the First World War, dabbled in Alistair Crowley's druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleau commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright's future wife, until she died of tuberculosis at the age of 34.

Having written, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer', she became as famous for her letters and diaries as for her short stories. She is regarded as a literary giant in her native New Zealand, but she had to leave the country to become one.

Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer too – as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield's dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand.

Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, this graphic memoir examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.






“Sarah Laing’s gorgeous, playful drawings and self-deprecating humour lightly mask a complex meditation on writing, celebrity and the conscious construction of self. A very New Zealand coming-of-age story: brilliant, funny, thoughtful and smart.”

Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen


“This book is a fabulous piece of work, and one that will stick around in Mansfield’s oeuvre, ensuring Sarah Laing’s name stays in the public consciousness.”

The Reader

“In Mansfield and Me, Laing explores Mansfield’s life story in tandem with her own: the sexual experimentation, the desire to live and write overseas, the health struggles, the steps towards publication. Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny and fresh, sometimes a stretch, but always compelling and honest.”



Read an interview with Sarah Laing about the creative process that led to Mansfield and Me.


Sarah Laing

Sarah Laing is a fiction writer and graphic artist from New Zealand.

She comes at books from all angles, writing as well as designing and illustrating them. The author of a graphic memoir, two novels, and a collection of short stories, she has also illustrated children’s books and designed and co-edited an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women’s comics.

In 2013 Sarah was the University of Auckland/Michael King Writers Centre fellow, and there she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Katherine Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations.

She lives in Wellington and is a mother of three.

Read more about Sarah and her work at

selected works

more titles coming soon...

leave a comment