Monday, August 06, 2012
NZ Post Book Awards - an unhappy author ponders on the evening
by Peter Wells - 6 August 2012
This is a pic of me at the NZ Post Book Awards.
It was pretty much as good as it got.
When judge Reina Whaitiri came on to the stage and described Colenso, among other more positive things, as a man who "bullied Maori", "was an adulterer" and ended up "very rich" I knew I wouldn't be winning in what suddenly seemed the politically-correct-awards - not awards for excellence in writing.
I was probably very naive thinking any biography of a dead white male could win an award.
When I finally got back to Napier the weather was surly and the sea that strangely browny-yellowy distempered grey of deep winter. It reminded me of the weather when Colenso, Elizabeth and Fanny arrived here, even though that was in December.
I remember thinking when I was writing the book Colenso had his own personal weather pattern: storms seemed to move along with him, wherever he was.
I drove past the Waitangi Mission site memorial and once again it was under water.
Poor old Colenso, I thought to myself - it's 2012 and you're still being 'judged', still being 'wrong', you're still under water.
Or was that just me?
Read Peter Wells' full story on his blog.