March 08, 2023
Strong Maori shortlist for book awards
There’s a record number of Maori titles on the shortlist for this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, with Maori represented in all categories for the first time.
They include Monty Soutar’s bestseller Kawai, Paul Diamond’s Downfall: The Destruction of Charles Mackay, Te Motunui Epa by Rachel Buchanan, and in the poetry section, Anahera Maire Gildea’s Sedition and Alice Te Punga Somerville’s Always Italicise: How to Write While Colonised.
Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa trustee Jenna Todd from Kai Tahu, who manages Time Out Bookstore in Maungawhau, says it reflects the strong state of Maori writing, with both Maori and mainstream commercial publsihers feeding strng public demand.
“Both Maori and non-Maori readers are really yearning for Maori stories and we’ve got them in us so they’re coming out. The judges for each category saw these rise to the top and these were the stories that stood out to them the most,” she says.
The winners will be announced at a public ceremony on May 17 at the Auckland Writers Festival.