The winner is: Rita Angus: An Artist's Life by Jill Trevelyan, published by Te Papa Press
This award is unique in that it recognises the crucial role booksellers play in promoting books, and they were asked to vote for the book they most enjoyed selling this year.
This year’s voting was so tight that we thought we would have to give the Award to all four finalists!
However in a last minute, ‘photo-finish’ voting by booksellers NZ-wide, Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life beat the others, showing that even in tight economic times there is still room in New Zealand publishing for beautiful art books.
Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life is the first biography of this well-loved and significant New Zealand artist. Rita Angus was a pioneer of modern painting during the 1930s and 1940s who went on to become one of New Zealand’s leading 20th century artists.
In this revelatory book, Jill Trevelyan traces Angus’s entire life, from her childhood in Napier and Palmerston North to her death in Wellington in 1970. It is generously illustrated with more than 150 artworks and private photographs to bring Angus – her private struggles and public reputation and her greatest legacy, her art – to complex, colourful life.
The launch of the Nielsen BookScan service in October 2007 has meant that bestsellers charts based on actual sales of books are now available. What Nielsen BookScan charts show is that there is no doubt we like to read about ourselves. Even faced with an enormous choice from overseas, we buy a lot of New Zealand published titles.
For example during the week ending on the 11th of July there were 19 New Zealand published titles in the top 100 bestsellers, and there were 53 New Zealand published titles in the top 300.
Rita Angus; An Artist’s Life was up against:
The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi, published by Longacre Press
Ladies, a Plate by Alexa Johnston, published by Penguin Books NZ
Nga Tama Toa: The Price of Citizenship by Monty Soutar, published by David Bateman