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.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Pip Adam wins premier book awards' $50.000 prize
News Release – for
OCKHAM NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT
A novel which judges say
‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $50,000 Acorn
Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premier book awards.
Wellington writer Pip Adam
received the honour for her novel The New Animals (Victoria University
Press)at the glittering Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony which
also celebrated the Awards’ 50th anniversary, held in Auckland’s
Aotea Centre tonight.
The New Animals, which parodies the Auckland fashion scene, was praised by the
category judges as a confrontational,
revelatory novel that holds a mirror up to contemporary New Zealand culture.
They said: “The New Animals handles a large ensemble of unrooted
characters with skill. It’s stylistically raw and reveals a good deal in a
modest way. The New Animals is so vivid in imagery and imagination that
the judges haven’t stopped thinking about it since. In this category in 2018
it’s the book with the most blood on the page. It will give you an electric shock.”
Listener journalist Diana
Wichtel won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for her
memoir Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father (Awa
“The toughest task of any
book, whatever the form, is to make a sentence so good that you just have to
read the next one, and the next one, and then wish it could just about go on
forever. So it is with Driving to Treblinka,” said the judges.
“Wichtel’s curiosity, alternately upsetting and uplifting, turns invisibly into
a kind of mission. At its heart this is a family story, but one which cannot
but shine a light on the vestiges of anti-Semitism that linger in Europe today.
It is not just a
beautifully written book, but an important book, too.”
Elizabeth Smither OBE
won the Poetry category – an honour bestowed on her twice before – with her
collection Night Horse (Auckland University Press).
“The 2018 Ockham New Zealand
Book Awards Poetry Award is for a book by an esteemed and celebrated poet who
contributes greatly to the New Zealand writing community. The poems in Night
Horse are gentle, uplifting, tender, humorous, well-crafted and luminous,”
said the Poetry category judges.
Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins won the Illustrated Non-Fiction category for
their work Tuai: A traveller in two worlds (Bridget Williams Books).
“Tuai is empathetically written,
providing the reader a window into a contested time of meeting, conversion and
enterprise. The text and illustrations work in concert, presenting a rounded
and rich experience for the reader, enhancing the breadth and depth of the
research explored within. Key moments are presented so richly that they envelop
and captivate the imagination. The care the authors have given these histories,
acknowledging the autonomy that mātauranga Māori has in wider Aotearoa
historical narratives, is striking, and we need more of it,” the judges said.
The General Non-Fiction,
Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000
To add a further
celebratory note, Ockham Residential confirmed its sponsorship commitment to
the awards for a further five years.
“This year the New Zealand Book Awards have reached
the golden age of fifty. However they have only been the Ockham New ZealandBook Awards for the last three years, which isn’t
long enough in our book!, ” says Mark Todd, Managing Director and Co-Founder of
Ockham Residential. “We are delighted to announce a new five-year sponsorship
deal with the awards. With public discourse in disarray we need our writers
more than ever.”
New Zealand Book Awards Trust
chair, Nicola Legat, says Ockham’s commitment is a terrific boon for the
Awards. “We are enormously grateful to Ockham for their generous ongoing
commitment. What a terrific way to celebrate the Awards’ 50th
anniversary; the country’s premier literary honours are in such good heart.”
Four Best First Book
Awards were also presented at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
The Hubert Church Best First
Book Award for Fiction:Baby byAnnaleese Jochems (Victoria
The E.H. McCormick Best First
Book Award for General Non-Fiction:Driving to Treblinka: A long search
for a lost father byDiana Wichtel (Awa Press).
The Jessie Mackay Best First
Book Award for Poetry:Fully Clothed and So Forgetful byHannah
Mettner (Victoria University Press).
The Judith Binney Best First
Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction:Caves: Exploring New Zealand’s
Subterranean Wilderness byMarcus Thomas and Neil Silverwood (Whio
Each Best First Book Award
winner received $2500.
The Awards ceremony was the
first public event in the Auckland Writers Festival, which sees more than 200
of New Zealand’s and the world’s best writers and thinkers offering
entertainment and ideas in words, song, theatre and more from 15-20 May.
The 2018 Ockham New
Zealand Book Awards judges were
Foundation Fiction Prize:
Poet and academic Anna
Smaill; journalist and reviewer Philip Matthews; and bookseller and reviewer
Jenna Todd of the Auckland bookshop Time Out. Glasgow-based writer, journalist and founding editor of the Scottish
Review of Books Alan Taylor joined the New Zealand judging team in
selecting the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize winner.
Royal Society Te Apārangi
Award for General Non-Fiction: Ella
Henry, lecturer in AUT’s Māori Faculty; editor and
award-winning journalist Toby Manhire; and former bookseller and publisher,
Non-Fiction:Barbara Brookes, whose A History of New Zealand
Women won this category of the awards in 2017; Matariki Williams, (Tūhoe, Taranaki, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Whakaue), Curator
Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa; and Kim Paton, Director of the public gallery
and novelist Alison Wong; poet Robert Sullivan,
deputy chief executive, Māori, Manukau Institute of Technology; and poet,
publisher and librettist Michael Harlow.
The Ockham New Zealand Book
Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, The Acorn
Foundation, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and the Royal Society Te Apārangi.