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Book on New Zealand Deaf recognised

Book on New Zealand Deaf recognised by international judges...

People of the Eye, an oral history of the Deaf community by Rachel McKee, with photographs by Bruce Connew, is singled out by the judges of the international Kiriyama Prize as one of the significant books of 2001.

The Kiriyama Prize is awarded each year to an outstanding book that encourages greater understanding among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim. This year’s winner is Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry; past winners include New Zealand’s Patricia Grace.

This year the judges drew up a list of Notable Books – books that they want to highlight for readers worldwide. The Kiriyama Prize has a particular focus on the contribution a book makes to understanding and to communities. The publishers, Bridget Williams Books, regard it as a great honour that this book – about the Deaf in New Zealand – has been recognised by the judges, along with Jamie Belich’s magnificent history, Paradise Reforged.

Professor Graeme Kennedy, founding director of the Deaf Studies Unit at Victoria University and general editor of the Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language, says: ‘Dr McKee’s work is making a significant contribution to Deaf studies in New Zealand – I am delighted that it has received this acknowledgement.’

For the Deaf Association of New Zealand, CEO Jennifer Brain applauds this recognition for the voices of the New Zealand Deaf community. ‘The Deaf community has welcomed The People of the Eye. We are very proud that the importance of this book is acknowledged internationally. We hope to see a copy now in every library in New Zealand.’

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