16 October 2013
Eleanor Catton The luminaries has just won the Man Booker Prize. This is news, this is big news and is PHENOMENAL!
I am watching her make a beautiful and graceful acceptance speech.
Here is the 2013 shortlist for the Man Booker Prize
31 December 2011
I’m the sort of person who studies literary form like a seasoned horse-racing enthusiast – who’s won what, who’s been rated by whom, who’s appeared on the shortlist, who’s got the best looking cover (okay, I’m shallow). I select what I hope will be winners and, even if they’re not, I take comfort from the belief I’m up with the in-crowd.
Last year however I totally lost track of what was hot and what was not. My concentration went away with my ability to sleep and I found myself reading crime. Elizabeth George, Benjamin Black, P.D. James and Ian Rankin were favourites and following the antics of their intrepid sleuths kept me diverted from the bumps in the night.
Now things are settling down a bit (hopefully, fingers crossed), I’ve decided to get back into something a little more challenging. I’ve perused the Literature guides at Christchurch City Libraries. I have caught up on the Literary prize winners, scanned the 100 most meaningful books of all time and found the Best reads 2011 list to be a cornucopia of literary delights.
I’ve started my re-education with Major Pettigrew’s last stand after a recommendation by robertafsmith. It’s an insightful story, light but beautifully written. I’m enjoying every word. It’s great to be back in the literary saddle again.
Now that I’m back, what do you recommend to keep me there?
21 August 2011
Paul Cleave is the winner of this year’s Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. The award was announced today in a special Christchurch Writers’ Festival event, Setting the Stage for Murder. Paul won the award for his book Blood Men. The other finalists were Alix Bosco, Neil Cross and Paddy Richardson.
The award was announced at the end of a feast of crime writers talking. First we had best selling American authors Tess Gerritsen and John Hart talking with Graham Beattie about their work.
Then the four finalists sat down with Craig Sisterson as chair to answer a few questions. I’d have to say all four seemed a little hesitant about being on stage if body language was anything to go by but as the panel discussion went on they opened up with some great observations. By the time a member of the audience asked whether they would consider including the Christchurch earthquakes in their stories they were ready to take some quite differing views. Paul Cleave was quite strong in his feeling that it would be wrong to make money by writing about such a tragedy, Greg McGee (Alix Bosco) was cautious believing there were dangers in writing about the event too soon and time need to elapse. Neil Cross was quite firm that good writing helps cultures examine their traumas. This was a view that John Hart certainly endorsed from the audience.
It was great to see four good New Zealand writers talking about issues that confront New Zealand writers – too much looking inward and an “ingrained lack of confidence” in selling on the world stage. There was a hope that there were enough good writers around and New Zealand had the chance to carve its own distinctive place in crime writing as Scandinavian crime writing had done. So come on crime writing fans – support your local team (or at least go to one game and see how they play).
1 January 2011
The Sir Julius Vogel awards will be open in January. The award is for any science fiction, fantasy or horror works created by a New Zealander and first published or released in the 2010 calendar year. Anyone can make a nomination and it is free! See the website for the categories open and get busy reading NZ authors and watching NZ movies.
Past winners include Russell Kirkpatrick, Nalini Singh, Helen Lowe, Brian Falkner and Under The Mountain.
Nominations open on 1 January 2011 and close on 31 March 2011 at 8pm.
For more information about the SJV Awards, please go to the SFFANZ web-site
You can find full details about the nomination procedures and rules, including eligibility criteria at
Christchurch City Libraries has a page on the award listing past winners
11 May 2010
Posted by zackids under Books
, New Zealand
, Young Adults
| Tags: Awards
, New Zealand
, NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2010
, young adult
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The winners of the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards are announced next Wednesday at the awards ceremony in Auckland, but in the lead-up to this is the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Festival which runs from 10-19 May. As part of this festival the finalist authors and illustrators travel around the country promoting their books and each region organises events that tie-in with the finalist books.
In Christchurch we are lucky enough to have a very dedicated group of organisers who have worked out some very cool events. Parents and toddlers can go along to Madras Bookshop Cafe on Thursday from 10:30-11am to enjoy stories with Susan and the Storytram with Liz Weir is running on Tuesday 18 May for those lucky enough to get tickets. On Saturday 15 May you can go along to Crazy Creatures with Creative Junk to listen to stories and make your own crazy creatures to take home. Bookings are essential so give us a call if you’re interested.
Tonight (Tuesday 11 May), one of the Young Adult book finalists is speaking about her book Banquo’s Son. If you are interested, come along to Fendalton Library from 7:30-9:00pm tonight. This is a free event and no booking is required.
For more information, grab a brochure from your library today or check out our NZ Post Children’s Book Awards page on the Kids website.
4 December 2009
An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah has won the Guardian First Book Award.
Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Guardian First Book Award, as the name suggests, is open to new writers of both fiction and non-fiction. Several popular authors have had their first taste of literary fame through being short-listed or scooping the big prize: Zadie Smith won in 2000 with White Teeth and Jonathan Safran Foer with Everything is Illuminated in 2002.
This year’s long-list was released in August and rather excitingly included a first time novelist who hails from New Zealand, Eleanor Catton. Her novel The Rehearsal has been garnering glorious reviews, The Guardian reviewer Justine Jordan has described it as “smart, playful and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original.” The Rehearsal centres around a scandal, the illicit relationship between a young music teacher and an underage schoolgirl. Their tale is re-written and dramatised by a local theatre group for an end of year performance and the original and re-worked tales run both side-by-side and interwoven for much of the novel. Reviewers have been particularly taken by Eleanor’s ear for both the everyday and heightened theatrical dialogue used in the novel and her deft handling of the interchange between the play and the original scandal. The four other short-listed titles were:
A swamp full of dollars: pipelines and paramilitaries at Nigeria’s oil frontier by Michael Peel.
A former West Africa correspondent for the Financial Times, Peel examines the petroleum industry in the Niger delta and its impact on the people of Nigeria. The only shortlisted non-fiction title this year.
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey.
Already shortlisted for the Orange prize, longlisted for the Man Booker and winner of the Betty Trask Prize, Harvey’s novel centers around Jake Jameson a retired architect succumbing to Alzheimer’s.
The Selected Works of TS Spivet: A novel by Reif Larsen.
Tecumseh Sparrow Spivet is twelve years old and a compulsive cartographer. This novel includes charts, diagrams and ephemera to trace TS’s tale as he journeys from rural Montana to Washington.
An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah. This short story collection looks with both humour and sadness at the challenges of living in modern Zimbabwe.
23 July 2009
The Ngā Kupu Ora Book Awards 2009 give you the chance to vote for the best Māori focused books of 2008/2009. Massey University is celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori by letting you pick the best in a range of categories: Art, Architecture & Design, Biography, History, Sports & Recreation and Te Reo Māori. And interestingly they also give you a chance to choose the Māori book of the decade.
So head on over and cast your vote.