New Zealand Book Awards Announce Longlist

26 November 2015

New Zealand’s top book awards have announced their longlist; among those are seven Auckland University Press titles.

The 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards – formerly known as the NZ Post awards – have named 40 books, in fiction, poetry, non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction, from an initial field of 240. This longlist reveals a rich collection of works reflecting cultural and historical diversity and deeply rewarding poetry and prose from authors and illustrators all over the country. The shortlist will be revealed on March 8 next year and the winners named at a ceremony on May 10 as part of the Auckland Writers’ Festival.

Three Auckland University Press titles are vying for the general nonfiction prize – Lost and Gone Away by Lynn Jenner, Outcasts of the Gods? The Struggle over Slavery in Māori New Zealand by Hazel Petrie and The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand by Alistair Woodward and Tony Blakley. In poetry another three Auckland University Press poets are nominated Shaggy Magpie Songs by Murray Edmond, How to be Dead in a year of Snakes  by Chris Tse and Otherwise by John Dennison. Up for best illustrated non-fiction is David Veart’s history of New Zealand toys, Hello Girls and Boys.

Book Awards Trust Chairwoman Nicola Legat said: ‘‘Authors have asked for a longlist for many years and it emerged as a clear preference after consultation with the wider literary community. A longlist more equitably showcases a wider number of books in a strong publishing environment where there is very close competition. It is a demonstration of how vital New Zealand literature is and how talented our writers are.”

Further information about the awards can be found here.