Recently the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award winners were announced. The Best Crime Novel was awarded to Fiona Sussman for her novel titled The Last Time We Spoke.
The Best First Novel prize was awarded to Finn Bell, for his novel titled Dead Lemons.
The Ngaio Marsh Awards originated in 2010 for excellence in New Zealand crime, mystery, and thriller writing. In 2016 the award for best First Novel was added and in 2017 another category was also added for the Best Non Fiction.
The Swedish Academy has awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature to British writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Born in Japan in 1954, his family moved to Britain in 1960 and he became a British citizen in 1982. After studying English and Philosophy, he went on to study creative writing, for which his thesis became his first published novel, A Pale View of Hills, in 1982.
He has since had seven novels published and much short fiction, four screenplays and several song lyrics. His work has received many awards including the 1989 Booker Prize for The remains of the Day; this was adapted to film in 2003. His novel Never Let Me Go, published in 2005 was also adapted to film in 2010.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s most recent novel, titled The Buried Giant was published in 2015.
A city’s image is always complex, and Wellington is no exception. For over 150 years it’s had to contend with being a capital city; being in the middle of the country; being on unstable ground. From these complexities an identity has emerged, what Lonely Planet described as “a little city with a big rep”. But beside this identity is another, more marginal Wellington, and one writer has been described as the “keeper of its keys”: Geoff Cochrane.
My barista asks me where he can find my books, and
I’m not exactly thrilled by this development. My barista
thinks I’m a great bloke, currently, and I don’t want him
reading my books and changing his mind.
Cochrane has lived in Wellington for most of his life. While he started writing at an early age, it wasn’t until Victoria University Press released Aztec Noon: Poems 1976-1992 that he first found a home at a mainstream publisher. He has gone on to win numerous awards, including the Janet Frame Prize for Poetry and a 2014 Laureate Award, as well as regular appearances in Best New Zealand Poems.
Despite these accolades, Cochrane’s work continues to evoke Wellington’s physical–and literary–boundaries. His latest poetry collection, RedEdits, takes the reader to the Warehouse in Rongotai, to A&E, to his barista. It reveals the butt of his cigarettes, a drop of his blood, a verandah in Levin.
Points of Interest
Sand and water make up 99% of fracking fluid.
Winston Churchill did without a close male friend.
Nembutal is the trade name of sodium pentobarbital.
Michelangelo completed his Pietà at the age of 25.
(According to Martin Amis, wars get old.
Get grizzled and smelly and rotten and mad,
and the bigger they are the faster they age.)
Cochrane’s writing has been called “one of the great pleasures” of New Zealand literature. Writer Pip Adam has described it as “a joy to me, a solace, a proof that art can be made in New Zealand which shows ourselves in new ways.” To discover this proof for yourself, check out RedEdits at Wellington City Libraries.
The shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize has recently been announced. Six novels from the long list of thirteen have been chosen by the panel of judges. Two American authors, Paul Auster and George Saunders, are included in the selection, along with two previously shortlisted authors, Pakistani Mohsin Hamid and Scottish Ali Smith. Two debut British authors complete the list. The winner of the £50,000 award will be announced on 17th October 2017 in London.
Wellington City Libraries are pleased to be hosting Makaro Press poets celebrating National Poetry Day, this Friday 25th August at 1.00pm on the Ground floor of the Central Library.
Join us for this exciting event where 12 Wellington authors and poets will read from their work. Poets include: • Mary Cresswell • Lindsay Pope • Janis Freegard • Tim Jones • Harvey Molloy • Maggie Rainey-Smith • Keith Westwater • Pete Carter • Peter Stuart • Robyn Cooper • Helen Rickerby • Julie Hanify • Peter Rawnsley • Robin Peace • John Howell.
National Poetry Day is also being celebrated at Cummings Park Library, Ngaio with these two events: Write and see: write poems responding to photos taken in our community, and see what others have written. Monday 14 – Monday 28 August.
Hear and read: on Friday 25th August, 7.30-9.30pm, come and hear poems by writers with connections to Ngaio and Crofton Downs, with Kerry Popplewell, Kate Spencer, John Howell, Janis Freegard, Carmen Downes and more. There will be an open mic and light refreshments.
Seven novels have been shortlisted for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. This annual British literary award was founded in 2010 and is open to novels first published in the UK, Ireland or Commonwealth in the preceding year. This year’s shortlist includes 2010 winner Sebastian Barry for his most recent novel, set during the American Civil War, titled Days without End.
The winner of the £25,000 award will be announced on 17th June 2017.