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New Zealand Post Book Award finalists unveiled

23 Jul 2013

This content is tagged as Literature .


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Finalists include a crowd funded book, while sci-fi novel wins Māori Language prize

Three first time authors are among the finalists of the New Zealand Post Book Awards announced today, a feat described by judges as “an amazing achievement”. They are: The Intentions Book by Gigi Fenster, A Man Runs into a Woman by Sarah Jane Barnett, and Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand by Jarrod Gilbert.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on 28 August.  Voting for the People’s Choice award starts today and closes on the 18 August.

Chief Judge John Campbell said: “It is a reflection of the extraordinary strength of the new and young writers we read, particularly in poetry, where New Zealand is blessed by so many fine writers (at all ages and stages) that we respectfully suggest poetry could stand beside rugby as our national sport.”

The judges noted that many of the finalists were also published by smaller publishers. They urged bigger publishers to take more risks.

“Much of the best risk-taking, much of the bravery, and much of the joy that comes from opening a book and finding a brilliant, original and fearless companion, came from smaller publishing houses. Thanks and congratulations to you all. But come on you bigger folk, some wilder courage please.”

Sarah Jane Barnett’s book, A Man Runs into a Woman, was not only published by a smaller publisher (Hue & Cry Press) it was also the first thing of any variety to be posted on the crowd-funding website Pledge Me. The money to publish the book was raised in less than 24 hours.  

Sci-fi novel wins Māori Language award

The winner of the New Zealand Post Book Awards Māori Language prize has been announced today as the late Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira’s book Ngā Waituhi O Rēhua (The Chronicles of Rēhua).

The book follows the journey of four teenagers living on Rēhua, a planet settled after Earth is destroyed by ecological disasters and global war.

Judge, Paora Tibble believes Dame Kāterina brings Science Fiction together with the values of the of the Ataarangi Māori language movement that she championed.   

Dame Kāterina passed away in 2011 in Hamilton at the age of 78. She was a New Zealand Māori language proponent, educatorintellectualartist and writer. Her efforts to revive and revitalize the te reo Māori, led to the growth of the Māori immersion schools (Kura Kaupapa Māori) in New Zealand.


New Zealand Post Book Awards Finalists for 2013


A Man Runs into a Woman by Sarah Jane Barnett - Hue & Cry Press    

Snow White's Coffin by Kate Camp - Victoria University Press  

The Darling North by Anne Kennedy - Auckland University Press

The Lifeguard: Poems 2008 – 2013 by Ian Wedde - Auckland University Press                       


The Big Music by Kirsty Gunn- Faber & Faber

In the Absence of Heroes by Anthony McCarten - Random House

The Forrests by Emily Perkins - Bloomsbury Publishing

The Intentions Book by Gigi Fenster - Victoria University Press

Illustrated Non-fiction                       

His Own Steam: The Work of Barry Brickell by David Craig, Gregory O'Brien and Haruhiko Sameshima - Auckland University Press

Pat Hanly by Gregory O'Brien and Gil Hanly - Ron Sang Publications

Selling the Dream: The art of early New Zealand tourism by Peter Alsop, Dave Bamford and Gary Stewart - Craig Potton Publishing

Stag Spooner: Wild man from the bush by Chris Maclean - Craig Potton Publishing

General Non-fiction

Civilisation: Twenty Places on the Edge of the World by Steve Braunias - Awa Press

Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand by Jarrod Gilbert - Auckland University Press

The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākeha Encounters, 1642-1840 by Vincent O'Malley – Auckland University Press

The Search for Anne Perry by Joanne Drayton – HarperCollins

Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice                          

Big House, Small House: New Houses by New Zealand Architects by John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds - Random House

Buller's Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of JG Keulemans by Geoff Norman - Te Papa Press

Moa: The life and death of New Zealand's legendary bird by Quinn Berentson - Craig Potton Publishing

Shelter from the Storm: The story of New Zealand's backcountry huts by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint - Craig Potton Publishing

New Zealand Post Book Awards Māori Language Award Winner

Ngā Waituhi O Rēhua (The Chronicles of Rēhua) by Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira - Huia Publishers