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Montana New Zealand Book Awards Winners

Winners announced for Montana New Zealand Book Awards

The winners of the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards were announced this evening at a gala dinner, hosted by Montana Wines at their Church Road Winery in Napier. The announcement of the two premier awards was made by the Prime Minister Helen Clark. Michael King is the winner of the Montana Medal for his remarkable biography Wrestling with the Angel. He is also the winner of the coveted Readers’ Choice Award. Lloyd Jones is the winner of the Deutz Medal for his outstanding novel The Book of Fame. The winners are:

Michael King Wrestling with the Angel: A Life of Janet Frame (Viking)
Lloyd Jones The Book of Fame (Penguin Books)
Runners-up Charlotte Randall The Curative (Penguin Books)
Damien Wilkins Nineteen Widows Under Ash (Victoria University Press)

Lifestyle Julie Biuso, Ian Batchelor (photographer) Fresh (New Holland Publishers)
Poetry Allen Curnow The Bells of Saint Babel's (Auckland University Press)
History & Biography Equal Winners
Te Miringa Hohaia, Gregory O’Brien, Lara Strongman (editors)
Parihaka:The Art of Passive Resistance (City Gallery Wellington,
the Trustees of Parihaka Pa, Victoria University Press)
Michael King Wrestling with the Angel:A Life of Janet Frame (Viking)
Environment Philip Simpson Dancing Leaves:The story of New Zealand's cabbage tree, ti kouka (Canterbury University Press)
Illustrative Arts Ian Wedde (general editor) Ralph Hotere: Black Light
(Te Papa Press, Dunedin Public Art Gallery)
Michael King Wrestling with the Angel:A Life of Janet Frame (Viking)

Hubert Church Best First Book for Fiction
Karyn Hay Emerald Budgies (Vintage)
Jessie Mackay Best First Book for Poetry
Stephanie de Montalk Animals Indoors (Victoria University Press)
E.H. McCormick Best First Book for Non-Fiction
Paul Tapsell Pukaki: A Comet Returns (Reed Publishing)

Winner Evening Post
Highly Commended Landfall

Winner David Eggleton
Highly Commended Chris Bourke

Dame Fiona Kidman

Sharon Crosbie, Convenor of this year’s judging panel, commented, “It’s been another bumper year in New Zealand publishing. The 2001 shortlist represents a collection of writing that would hold its own anywhere in the world - it’s formidable. In a departure from the norm this year, we opted for equal winners in the History and Biography category, an acknowledgement of the excellence of both books. It’s been particularly exciting to see that fifty books were entered by first time authors, a sure sign that our literature is in a very healthy state of growth. Our writers have the courage to ask some tough questions and confront the answers, explore new ideas and commit them to the printed page. Without the Montana New Zealand Book Awards it wouldn't just be our writers who'd be the poorer.”

Of the overall winners, Sharon Crosbie said, “Wrestling with the Angel is a book worth waiting for: richly researched and told with assurance and skill, it adds significantly to our knowledge and understanding of New Zealand's greatest novelist. The Book of Fame manages so much with deft skill: social commentary, historical perspective, sporting insight, a finely calibrated poetic reach for what is almost elusive. On any scale of originality this novel is in a class of its own.”

Sharon Crosbie, Chief Executive of Radio New Zealand, was joined on the judging panel by author and lecturer, Emeritus Professor Lawrence Jones, and Wellington bookseller, Tilly Lloyd. The judges are assisted by seven specialist advisors.
Congratulating all the writers and illustrators involved in this year’s Awards, the Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Rt Hon Helen Clark said, “The extremely high standards of past years have been maintained, and you have given New Zealanders yet another set of reasons to read and enjoy their own country’s literature. Well done!”
The Montana New Zealand Book Awards promote excellence in and provide recognition for the very best books written and illustrated by New Zealanders.

The Montana Medal carries a prize of $10,000 and is awarded to one of the non-fiction category winners, which, in the opinion of the judges, achieves outstanding, overall excellence. The non-fiction category winners each receive $5,000. The Deutz Medal carries a prize of $15,000 and is awarded to one of the fiction category finalists which, in the opinion of the judges, achieves outstanding, overall excellence. The two runners-up each receive $2500 and the Best First Book winners each receive $1000.

Michael King, a clear favourite for the Readers’ Choice Award, was presented with a distinctive bronze sculpture. A prize draw will be held for voters and the winner will receive Booksellers Tokens to the value of $1000.

The judges of this year’s Montana New Zealand Reviewer of the Year and Montana New Zealand Best Review Page Awards were journalist, Bill Ralston and bookseller, Murray Gray. The Montana Reviewer of the Year winner receives $1000.

Dame Fiona Kidman was presented with the A.W. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her substantial contribution to New Zealand writing. This Award carries a prize of $1000.

Montana Wines and Creative New Zealand are the principal sponsors of the annual Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Booksellers New Zealand manages the Awards and they are supported by the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Society of Authors.
- ENDS -

Ian Batchelor - Auckland
Julie Biuso - Auckland
Chris Bourke - Auckland
Allen Curnow - Auckland
Stephanie de Montalk - Wellington
David Eggleton - Dunedin
Karyn Hay - London
Te Miringa Hohaia - Taranaki
Fiona Kidman - Wellington
Michael King Whangamata
Lloyd Jones - Wellington
Gregory O’Brien - Wellington
Charlotte Randall - Wellington
Philip Simpson - Christchurch
Lara Strongman - Wellington
Paul Tapsell - Auckland
Ian Wedde - Wellington
Damien Wilkins - Wellington


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