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Montana NZ Book Awards 2008 finalists booklet

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Attached: Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2008 finalists booklet

Non-fiction Takes a Bow in This Year's Montana New Zealand Book Awards Finalist Line-up

The quality and scholarship of the non-fiction finalists are the stand outs among the more than 220 books entered in this year's Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

In a joint statement announced today, the three 2008 Awards judges say the non-fiction categories in this year's awards have been particularly strong, with our artists and cultural history having been particularly well served.

'From inner city graffiti to the pristine peaks of the Southern Alps, from a remote nineteenth century whaling station to the impact on our wetlands of decades of use and abuse, from the recognition of ta moko to an insight into the work of one of our most reclusive artists...We have been impressed by the passion, dedication and expertise that have so clearly gone into the finalists' publications,' says the judging panel comprising arts critic and journalist Lynn Freeman, publisher David Elworthy and fiction writer Tim Corbalis.

Emerging writers dominate this year's fiction and poetry finalist categories. Among them are debut novelist Mary McCallum with The Blue, Alice Tawhai with her second story collection, Luminous and Johanna Aitchison with her debut poetry collection, A Long Girl Ago.

'The judges were attracted by the vivacity and assurance of the work coming from these relatively new writers. They each have a distinctive voice and something to say,' says Ms Freeman.

Now in their 12th year, The Montana-sponsored awards have a strict set of guidelines. The judging panel takes into account enduring literary merit and overall authorship; quality of illustration and graphic presentation; production values; general design; the standard of editing and the impact of the book on the community.

The judging of New Zealand's best books published during the 2007 calendar year is carried out across eight categories - Fiction, Poetry, Biography, History, Reference & Anthology, Environment, Illustrative, and Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture.

The full list of finalists in the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards by category are:


The Blue by Mary McCallum (Penguin Group (NZ))

Edwin & Matilda by Laurence Fearnley (Penguin Group (NZ))

Luminous by Alice Tawhai (Huia Publishers)

Opportunity by Charlotte Grimshaw (Random House NZ)


Cold Snack by Janet Charman (Auckland University Press)

A Long Girl Ago by Johanna Aitchison (Victoria University Press)

The Pop-Up Book of Invasions by Fiona Farrell (Auckland University Press)


The Best Man Who Ever Served the Crown? A Life of Donald McLean by Ray Fargher (Victoria University Press)

The Life and Times of James Walter Chapman-Taylor by Judy Siers (Millwood Heritage Productions Ltd)

Waimarino County & Other Excursions by Martin Edmond (Auckland University Press)


Age of Enterprise: Rediscovering the New Zealand Entrepreneur 1881-1910 by Ian Hunter (Auckland University Press)

Devils on Horses by Terry Kinloch (Exisle Publishing)

Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka Volume II: Te Ara Hou - The New Society by Hilary and John Mitchell (Huia Publishers)


Southern Alps by Alison Ballance (Random House NZ)

The Surface of the Sea: Encounters with New Zealand's Upper Ocean Life by Iain Anderson (Raupo Publishing)

Wetlands of New Zealand by Janet Hunt (Random House NZ)


Aberhart by Laurence Aberhart, with essays by Gregory O'Brien and Justin Paton (Victoria University Press)

Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning by Jennifer Hay, with Ron Brownson, Chris Knox and Laurence Aberhart; designed by Aaron Beehre (Christchurch Art Gallery)

Comma dot dogma edited by Aaron Kreisler (Umbrella)

Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture:

InForm: New Zealand Graffiti Artists Discuss Their Work by Elliot O'Donnell (Raupo Publishing)

Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (Penguin Group (NZ))

Shot In New Zealand: The art and craft of the Kiwi cinematographer by Duncan Petrie (Random House NZ)

Reference and Anthology:

Look This Way: New Zealand Writers on New Zealand Artists edited by Sally Blundell (Auckland University Press)

A Nest of Singing Birds: 100 years of the New Zealand School Journal by Gregory O'Brien (Learning Media Limited)

The Transit of Venus edited by Mary Varnham (Awa Press)

The winner in each category receives a prize of $5,000. Each category winner is eligible for the Montana Medal for non fiction or the Montana Medal for poetry or fiction, both of which carry a prize of $10,000.

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Wellington Town Hall on Monday, 21 July 2008.

The winners of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Best First Book Awards will be announced at this ceremony. There are no finalists in these categories this year.

The principal sponsors of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards are Montana and Creative New Zealand. The awards are managed by Booksellers New Zealand and supported by Book Publishers Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.

The winner of the poetry category will be announced on Montana Poetry Day on Friday 18 July 2008.

  • Finalist Booklet
  • ENDS

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