Patrick Evans's initial research focussed on the fiction of Janet Frame (An Inward Sun, Wellington 1971). Janet Frame (Boston, 1977) is the first biography of the writer and examined her fiction to date in the light of her life. The Penguin History of New Zealand Literature (1990) is the first history of fiction and poetry to be published in New Zealand. His essay on Allen Curnow won the 2002 Landfall essay prize. He has supervised postgraduate work on Blanche Baughan, Robin Hyde, John Mulgan, Janet Frame, Allen Curnow, Keri Hulme, Damien Wilkins, G.R. Gilbert, Maori fiction, poetry and drama in English, New Zealand print culture, New Zealand women writers and New Zealand spiritual autobiography, as well as T.S. Eliot, Norman McLaren's film-making, Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. He has published two novels and written plays which have been performed in New Zealand and Australia.