October 15, 2013
Big winners in book awards
The convenor of judges for this year’s Maori book awards says there is evidence of growing interest in Maori writing.
Category winners have been announced, with the final pick as book of the year announced at the awards ceremony next month.
White Lies: Tuakiri Huna by Dana Rotberg and Witi Ihimaera, an adaptation of the film of the same name, won the fiction prize.
Bradley Haami’s biography of kapa haka legends Ngapo and Pimia Wehi won the biography section, a book about Christian principles and tikanga Maori by Catholic priest Pa Henare Tait was the non-fiction winner, He Papakupu Reo Ture: A Dictionary of Maori Legal Terms by Mamari Stephens and Mary Boyce was best Maori language book, and a special prize will be given to Maumahara, the autobiography of the late Te Onehou Phillis.
Spencer Lilley says the volume and variety of entries was exciting.
"Every book that has won has been published by a different publishing firm, including one that looks like it was almost a self-published item. The fact is people are showing an interest in Maori literature that hasn't quite been there before," Dr Lilley says.
The awards ceremony will be at the Wharewaka on the Wellington waterfront on November 7.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Catton has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries,
She is only the second New Zealander to win the world’s most prestigious prize for literature, 28 years after Keri Hulme of Ngai Tahu won with The Bone People.
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