May 12, 2020
First novel wins top book prize
Westport writer Becky Manawatu has won this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ prize for fiction for her first novel, Auē.
Judges described the story of orphaned brothers, one deposited in rural Kaikōura with relatives and the other left to fend for himself in the city, as a ‘mere pounamu’.
They said it mixed violence and sadness with buoyant humour and remarkable insights into the minds of children and young men told with a uniquely New Zealand voice.
As well as winning the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize, Manawatu also took the Hubert Church Prize for the best first book of fiction.
The non-fiction award went to Straitjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter for his memoir Dead People I Have Known.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com