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The crime writer, who holds fellowships from the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and whose books have sold more than 15 million copies, will be Visiting Professor of Scottish Studies and Crime Fiction.
The university announced her appointment today, saying she would be based at Otago from 2019 to 2021.
For each of these three years, Professor McDermid will spend up to eight weeks a year in Dunedin, where she will be attached to the University’s Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies.
Prof McDermid will mentor postgraduate students in the Scottish Studies and the creative writing programmes, and will also contribute to undergraduate courses in Scottish Studies, crime fiction and creative writing, as well as giving a number of public lectures and readings.
Prof McDermid wrote the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, which was adapted for popular UK television drama Wire in the Blood starring Robson Green.
Her other major series follow fictional journalist Lindsay Gordon, and PI Kate Brannigan.
She has won a number of international crime awards and her books have been translated into 40 languages.