Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Book Awards Celebrate 50th Anniversary with Stellar Finalist Line-up
New Zealand’s premier literary awards
celebrate their 50th anniversary with a rich collection of 16
finalist books by both lauded established writers and emerging stars.
today, the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalists join a literary hall
of fame that dates back to 1968 and features New Zealand’s most famous and
books were selected by four panels of three specialist judges and were drawn
from 40 longlisted titles selected out of more than 150 entries.
Book Awards Trust chair Nicola Legat says this year’s shortlist demonstrates
the diversity, depth and skill of New Zealand writers.
reflect who we are as people and how we are developing as a nation, demonstrating
that the writer’s role is as important now as it was half a century ago. Like
many of the books nominated in previous years’ awards, the cream of this year’s
crop are destined to become classics.”
contest for the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, University of
Canterbury Professor of English Patrick Evans’ novel Salt Picnic vies with debut writer Annaleese Jochems’ Baby, Wellington lawyer Brannavan
Gnanalingam’s Sodden Downstream, and novelist
and creative writing teacher Pip Adam’s The
New Animals. “We have selected four novels that directly confront and ask
questions of both the world and the reader,” says the category judging convenor
Jenna Todd. “These authors are pushing at the edges of what is possible in
fiction in a style that’s both engaging and brave.”
in the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction category are renowned
historian and anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond for Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds; journalist Diana Wichtel
for her debut book Driving to Treblinka:
A Long Search for a Lost Father; Massey University Professor of History
Michael Belgrave for Dancing with the
King: The Rise and Fall of the King Country1864-1885, and cartoonist Tom Scott for his memoir Drawn Out.
General Non-Fiction category convenor Ella Henry says there
was a high degree of unanimity among the judges about these four books. “One
book made me laugh, one made me cry, one reminded me of New Zealand’s complex
history, and the other gave me great hope about the future of our nation.”
Williams, convenor of the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award category judging panel,
says that evocative language interwoven with a remarkable range of imagery gave
the category’s finalists a lasting impact. They are: Tuai: A Traveller in Two
Worlds by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins; Tōtara: A Natural and Cultural History by Philip Simpson; Gordon Walters: New Vision by Zara
Stanhope (commissioning editor), Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons and Julia
Waite, and The Face of Nature: An
Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula by Jonathan West.
“These books, each
of which was multi-layered in approach and execution, showcased the rich
social, cultural, material and environmental history that has shaped Aotearoa.
They were not just beautiful to look at but they were also all a joy to read,”
says Ms Williams.
by four acclaimed established poets comprise this year’s Poetry Award shortlist.
They are Anchor Stone by Tony Beyer, Night Horse by Elizabeth Smither, Rāwāhi by Briar Wood, and The Yield
by Sue Wootton.
Poetry category convenor Robert Sullivan says it was an excellent year
for poetry. “These shortlisted books are
thoughtful, luminous, both precisely and generously descriptive of emotion and
intellect, delighting in the dance of language. These lyrical poets channel
fine depths to lift up poems as lights,” says Mr Sullivan.
The 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards
finalist titles are:
Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize:
·The New Animals by Pip Adam (Victoria University Press)
·SaltPicnic by Patrick Evans (Victoria
·Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence &
Annaleese Jochems (Victoria University Press)
by Tony Beyer (Cold Hub Press)
by Elizabeth Smither (Auckland University Press)
Briar Wood (Anahera Press)
·The Yield by
Sue Wootton (Otago University Press)
Illustrated Non-Fiction Award:
·Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins
(Bridget Williams Books)
·Tōtara: A Natural and Cultural
History by Philip
Simpson (Auckland University Press)
·Gordon Walters: New Vision by Zara Stanhope (commissioning
editor), Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons, Julia Waite (Auckland Art Gallery Toi
o Tāmaki and Dunedin Public Art Gallery)
·The Face of Nature: An Environmental
History of the Otago Peninsula by Jonathan West (Otago University Press)
Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non Fiction:
·Dancing with the King: The Rise and Fall of the King
Country, 1864-1885 by Michael
Belgrave (Auckland University Press)
·Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond (Auckland University Press)
·Drawn Out: A Seriously Funny Memoir by Tom Scott (Allen & Unwin NZ)
·Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press)
The winners will be announced at a
ceremony on May 15 2018, held as the first public event of the Auckland Writers