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2004 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellows announced

For release 29 March 2004

2004 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellows announced

The Sargeson Trust and national law firm Buddle Findlay have announced that novelists Karyn Hay and Craig Marriner are the 2004 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellows.

The fellowship provides the opportunity for outstanding writers to write full-time without the pressures and confines of a “day job” - an opportunity that has particular appeal for the 2004 fellows who have arrived at writing by interesting and varied routes. Coincidentally both winners have more than their writing journeys in common.

Both have produced raw and uncompromising first novels that are bleak fables of modern life - and not recommended for the faint-hearted.

And both have won prestigious New Zealand fiction awards for their novels: Karyn Hay for Emerald Budgies and Craig Marriner for stonedogs.

Buddle Findlay senior partner Michael Dineen is pleased that the judges have made bold choices for 2004 (the eighth year of the awards), opting for two writers who are very much urban voices of today. “Buddle Findlay has always intended that this award should go to writers at a pivotal stage in their careers and the Sargeson Trustees are firmly of the opinion that these two writers have a lot more to contribute to contemporary New Zealand fiction,” Michael Dineen says.

Karyn Hay hails originally from Waitoa but has spent the past 18 years moving between New Zealand and the UK working as a TV producer and director. Her highly acclaimed novel Emerald Budgies won the Hubert Church Best First Book for Fiction (Montana Book Awards) in 2001.

Karyn took up the fellowship in February and plans to complete her second novel during her stay.

She is currently preparing for her future “intrepid journey” to Kyrgyzstan in May.

Craig Marriner was born and educated in Rotorua (Roto-Vegas). His first novel stonedogs was Deutz Medal winner in 2002.

Craig will take up the second fellowship in July when he returns from a period researching overseas for his third novel. He plans to put the finishing touches to his second novel which is centred around the Kiwi/Aussie scene in London.

Past Buddle Findlay Sargeson fellows (from 1997 onwards) include Toa Fraser, Debra Daley, Denis Baker, Riemke Ensing, Vivienne Plumb, Chad Taylor, Shonagh Koea, Diane Brown, Catherine Chidgey, Sarah Quigley, Tina Shaw, Kapka Kassabova, Sue Reidy, James Brown and Charlotte Grimshaw.

Past Sargeson Trust fellows include Janet Frame, Alan Duff, Kevin Ireland, Michael King, Marilyn Duckworth.

More detailed information on Karyn Hay and Craig Marriner follows.


Karyn Hay

Publishing her first novel in 2000 was a major milestone for well-known broadcaster Karyn Hay.

Karyn Hay hails originally from Waitoa but has spent the past 18 years moving between New Zealand and the UK working as a TV producer and director. She started her writing career as a trainee copywriter with Radio 1ZH in Hamilton but always intended to write literary fiction.

Her highly acclaimed novel Emerald Budgies won Hubert Church Best First Book for Fiction (Montana Book Awards) in 2001. The somewhat dark novel is a comic tale of disintegration, betrayal and revenge.

Karyn took up the fellowship in February and plans to complete her second novel during her stay.

She says of the Fellowship: “Somehow I have to find a way to write – I see little point in any other pursuits. Receiving the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship will allow me to finish my second book without feeling that I must ‘accept my responsibilities’ and find a real job”.

Karyn is currently preparing for her trip to Kyrgyzstan in May for the new series of “Intrepid Journeys”.

She is married to musician Andrew Fagan and has two sons Seth and Fabian.

Reviews of Emerald Budgies (Random House New Zealand 2000/Diva UK 2000):

Emerald Budgies is a darkly comic book about Ruth, a difficult, funny anti-heroine…trying to sort herself out but running from too many things. Hay’s prose pulls no punches. It is energetic and visceral, and if there are moments that make you suck your teeth in discomfort, it’s your problem.”

Emily Perkins, Pavement Magazine, Month 2000

"A relentlessly bleak – if extremely funny – vision of modern life with no redemption whatsoever for anyone anywhere…There are times when Emerald Budgies makes Trainspotting look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm."

Denis Welch, Listener, 28 October 2000

"It is a raw, thoughtful and very funny novel …a debut to be proud of."

Kate Camp, Listener, 4 November 2000

“It’s sometimes hilarious in a way that might make you feel guilty about laughing and it’s certainly not recommended for the faint of heart and the tight of morals. But it has a shocking sort of verve about it - and its appalling cast of characters, each of them wearing their own dirty habits like medals.”

Colin Hogg, New Zealand Herald, 16 December 2000


Craig Marriner

Craig Marriner, now 30, was born and raised in Rotorua. He has been a goldminer in Australia, a security guard at English soccer stadiums and an MC at an Amsterdam comedy club.

His first novel, stonedogs (Vintage, Random House, New Zealand, 2001) achieved considerable critical success, winning the Deutz Medal in 2002. It explores the urban underbelly of New Zealand and is set against a chilling backdrop of gangs, drugs and murder and will be launched in Australia later in the year.

His second novel is set in London and centres around the Kiwi/Aussie scene there.

Craig will take up residence in July 2004. He says of the Fellowship: “The Fellowship will provide me the financial leeway and the domestic tranquillity to complete my third book in a much shorter timespan that would otherwise be the case.”

Reviews of stonedogs:

“Told in a brutal and scathing prose which keeps women in their place and multinational corporations cringing, stonedogs is not for the easily offended. Marriner offers a chilling look at the seedy underbelly of New Zealand society, of blokes treading a fine line between idealism and anarchy, friendship and betrayal, misbehaviour and murder.”

Helen Spiers, Dunedin Star, 7 February 2002

“Full of real Kiwi characters that are easy to relate to, and set in the pubs, bars, cars and forests, this is real New Zealand fiction. The tight narrative and building tension grabs us and throws us into the backseat as we career around corners on the edge of the seat, never knowing where the next twist might lead us.”

Warren Smart, Daily News, 17 November 2001

“Marriner’s Vegas is brilliantly real as is Auckland (the Smoke) and it’s superb to read a book littered with Lion Red cans, clapped out Holdens and rich boys from the North Shore. The language is spot on, the cadences and utterances utterly familiar to anyone who has been in a suburban pub, or to a rugby match, or indeed any small town in New Zealand…a tender and intelligently written novel.”

Evening Post 13, November 2001


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