New Zealand Post Book Award finalists unveiled

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, educator, intellectual, artist 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.

THE FINALISTS ARE...

Fiction

In the Absence of Heroes
by Anthony McCarten
Published by Random House
ISBN 9781869797232

The Big Music
by Kirsty Gunn
Published by Faber & Faber
ISBN 9780571282340 

The Forrests
by Emily Perkins
Published by Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781408831496

The Intentions Book
by Gigi Fenster
Published by Victoria University Press
ISBN 9780864738233

Poetry

A Man Runs into a Woman
by Sarah Jane Barnett
Published by Hue & Cry Press
ISBN  9780473213992

Snow White's Coffin
by Kate Camp
Published by Victoria University Press
ISBN 9780864738882

The Darling North
by Anne Kennedy
Published by Auckland University Press
ISBN 9781869405939

The Lifeguard: Poems 2008-2013
by Ian Wedde
Published by Auckland University Press
ISBN 9781869407698

Illustrated Non-Fiction

His Own Steam: The Work of Barry Brickell
by David Craig & Gregory O'Brien, with new photographs by Haruhiko Sameshima
Published by Auckland University Press
ISBN 9781869407636

Pat Hanly
by Gregory O'Brien & Gil Hanly
Published by Ron Sang Publications
ISBN 9780473208646

Selling the Dream: The art of early New Zealand tourism
by Peter Alsop, Gary Stewart & Dave Bamford 
Published by Craig Potton Publishing
ISBN 9781877517778

Stag Spooner: Wild man from the bush
by Chris Maclean 
Published by Craig Potton Publishing
ISBN 9781877517686

General Non-fiction

Civilisation: Twenty Places on the Edge of the World
by Steve Braunias
Published by Awa Press
ISBN 9781877551352

Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand
by Jarrod Gilbert
Published by Auckland University Press
ISBN 9781869407292

The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642-1840
by Vincent O'Malley
Published by Auckland University Press
ISBN 9781869405946

The Search for Anne Perry
by Joanne Drayton
Published by HarperCollins
ISBN 9781869508883

Nielsen Booksellers' Choice

Big House, Small House: New Houses by New Zealand Architects
by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds
Published by Random House
ISBN 9781869798468

Buller's Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of JG Keulemans
by Geoff Norman
Published by Te Papa Press
ISBN 9781877385889

Moa: The life and death of New Zealand's legendary bird
by Quinn Berentson
Published by Craig Potton Publishing
ISBN 9781877517846

Shelter from the Storm: The story of New Zealand's backcountry huts
by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint
Published by Craig Potton Publishing
ISBN 9781877517709

Maori Language Award winner

Ngā Waituhi o Rēhua
by Dame Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira
Published by Huia Publishers
ISBN 9781775500063