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Dr Paul Millar wins CLL Writer's Award

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24 October 2003

Dr Paul Millar wins CLL Writer's Award

Dr Paul Millar, a specialist in New Zealand and Pacific literature and a leading expert on James K. Baxter, has won the Copyright Licensing Limited Writer's Award.

Dr Millar was thrilled to receive the $35,000 award as it will allow him to scale down his work as a senior lecturer at Victoria University, and complete his biography of writer Bill Pearson by the end of 2004.

Bill Pearson’s story embodies some key movements in 20th century life in New Zealand including intellectual culture, left-wing politics, homosexuality and the development of Maori academia.

‘Though Bill’s output is not large by current standards, every piece of writing is a carefully cut and polished gem’, said Dr Millar. ‘Scholars like him set up a structure for the study of New Zealand literature.’

Bill Pearson died in 2002, a year after naming Millar his authorised biographer. Fortunately his terminal illness did not prevent him being extensively interviewed during that time and supplying additional detail in writing.

Selected from 48 applicants, the CLL selection panel believes Dr Millar has the ability to put himself inside Pearson’s skin and produce a book that would accurately and engagingly present one of the country’s literary forbears, setting his life and work in the context of his times.

ENDS

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