Wednesday, June 11, 2008


And I see on Paula Morris' blog that she is, for the fourth consecutive year, commenting in the upcoming issue of NZ Listener, on the Montana NZ Book Awards fiction finalists. Should make for interesting reading.


Pamela said...

There is some misinformation on Leaf Salon about Janet Frame's win last year. The Montana rules have long allowed for the entry of a book published within 2 years following the author's death, and Janet Frame's The Goose Bath (2006) qualified because of that (she died in 2004). If the rules were changed in 2007 to widen the eligibility of dead authors, it was nothing to do with Janet Frame, and did not affect her entry.
I understand that a work by the late Joanna Paul was entered last year, so perhaps she was the one the rules were “bent” for, in 2007?
Nobody complained about Michael King winning Montana money after he died, and there was no complaint about Nigel Cox's family receiving prize money either, so it seems unfair to me to single out Frame's win for criticism while approving or overlooking the wins for Nigel Cox and Michael King. (Frame's prize money went to her charitable trust, and the sum was added to a grant given straight to the NZSA.)
As for the missing place on the 2008 fiction shortlist - Frame's Estate and her publishers had no intention of submitting the posthumous novel for the fiction prize. Towards Another Summer was written long ago and was not in the production pipeline when she died. But she was working on the poetry project at the time of her death, and had authorised the edit and written the poems, and that book qualified under long standing rules.

Keri Hulme said...

Excellent clarification Pamela - thanks.
(I think there have been several attempts at water-muddying/dilution of the major issue by anon. in all it's incarnations-)

Fergus said...

I need to fess up that VUP failed to enter Joanna's Like Love Poems in 2007. I honestly don't remember deciding not to, but my best guess is that it was because I was familiar with the long-standing two-year rule, and missed the change. I think the subsequent change to exclude deceased authors tout court is sad, because it excludes books that were in the pipeline before the author's death, and it excludes Nigel's Phone Home Berlin.

Rachael said...

I don't have a problem with posthumous works winning awards, but to clarify,The Penguin History was not posthumous, and was entered for the awards before Michael King died, so shouldn't really feature in a discussion about posthumous works and their eligibility.