2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards: Non-Fiction Winners!

Last week we profiled the fiction and poetry winners of the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards. This week we celebrate the non-fiction winners!

“It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”

The 2020 General Non-Fiction Award went to Shayne Carter, musician and front man of Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer, for his memoir, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press). Carter also won the E.H. McCormick Prize for best first work of General Non-Fiction. The category judges said of the first-time author’s work: “It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”.  Rachel King’s marvelous Spin Off essay  about Dead People I Have Known noted that: “The best thing about the book is Shayne’s ability to fully recreate a scene as if he is standing right there experiencing it, and we are standing there with him”.  Reserve a copy of this powerful book here.

Watch Shayne Carter read from Dead People I Have Known here.

“From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”

Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti), and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – won the 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance. The judges observed that: “From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”.

Alice Webb-Liddall wrote that: “Movements led by Māori, by women and by children continue to shape New Zealand’s community and policy, and have made us world leaders in areas like women’s suffrage. A collection of objects become the markers of every movement, and Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns have collated some of the most important, most beautiful and most confronting of these”. Reserve a copy of this fascinating and important book here.

Watch Stephanie Gibson read from Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance here.

“The book is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment” 

The 2020 Judith Binney Prize for best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction went to Chris McDowall and Tim Denee for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (Massey University Press). RNZ noted that this book “is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment”. Reserve a copy of this book, which is more than just an atlas, here.

2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards: Fiction & Poetry Winners!

The results are in: the winner of this year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards is debut author Becky Manawatu with Auē!

Manawatu (Ngāi Tahu) was up against big names, including Elizabeth Knox, Owen Marshall and Carl Shuker, but managed to emerge victorious with a story about the death of an orphaned boy that has been described as an “immense, deep and powerful work” and has been compared to both Once Were Warriors and The Bone People. Check out an exert from the novel here or reserve a copy here!

Also victorious last night was Helen Rickerby with How to Live. Rickerby won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry, beating out Anne Kennedy, Steven Toussaint and Ashleigh Young. How to Live is Rickerby’s third collection, and has been described as “lucid, uplifting, provocative, revealing, acidic, groundbreaking“.  Have a listen to ‘How to Live Through This’ from How to Live here, or reserve a copy of the collection via our catalogue!

Watch Becky Manawatu read from Auē:

Watch Helen Rickerby read from How to Live:

Ockham NZ Book Awards Illustrated Non-Fiction Long List

As well as General Non-Fiction, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have a special category for Illustrated Non-Fiction. The 2020 long list for this category, which has just been announced, includes magnificently illustrated books that both inform and entertain.

The Ockham short lists will be announced on 4 March, and the final prize winners will be presented with their awards on 12 May.

Check out the titles in the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award category long list!

Crafting Aotearoa: a cultural history of making in New Zealand and the wider Moana Oceania / Chitham, Karl
“A major new history of craft that spans three centuries of making and thinking in Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Moana (Pacific). Paying attention to Pākehā, Māori, and island nations of the wider Moana, and old and new migrant makers and their works, this book is a history of craft understood as an idea that shifts and changes over time.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Protest Tautohetohe: objects of resistance, persistence and defiance / Gibson, Stephanie
“Aotearoa New Zealand has a long legacy of activism. This richly illustrated book brings together over 300 objects made by protestors to proclaim and symbolise their causes and their struggles. From banners to badges, t-shirts to tea towels, posters to photographs, it is a vivid reflection of 250 years of resistance and persistance.” (Catalogue)

Frances Hodgkins: European journeys
“This vivid and revealing book is published alongside a landmark exhibition focused on one of our most internationally recognized artists, Frances Hodgkins. Complete with a rich visual chronology of the artist’s encounters abroad, alongside over one hundred of Hodgkins’ key paintings and drawings, the book is an illuminating journey that moves us from place to place through the writings of a number of distinguished art historians, curators and critics.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Funny as: the story of New Zealand comedy / Horan, Paul
“On TV, film, and live, New Zealand comedy has never been bigger. Published alongisde a major Television New Zealand documentary series, Funny As is a big, authoritative, funny history of New Zealand’s funny men and women. From capping bands to the Topp Twins, hori humour to Billy T James, Lynn of Tawa to Fred Dagg, New Zealanders have made each other laugh in ways distinctive to our peoples and our culture. In 400 pictures and a text built on deep research and over 100 interviews with comics, this book will be Funny As.” (Catalogue)

We are here: an atlas of Aotearoa / McDowall, Chris
“This compelling mix of charts, graphs, diagrams, maps and illustrations is beautiful, insightful, and enlightening. It helps us make sense of our country, to grasp its scale, diversity and intricacies, and to experience feelings of connection to land, to place, to this time in our history, and to one another. By making data visible, each graphic reveals insights: Who visits us? How many fish are in the sea? How do we hurt ourselves? Where do our cats go to at night?  Essays by some of New Zealand’s best thinkers complete the package.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Louise Henderson: from life
“This is the first major survey of the life and work of French-born, New Zealand artist Louise Henderson (1902-1994). Featuring work from across Henderson’s seven-decade career, the book and accompanying exhibition trace the development of the artist’s bold and colourful abstract style. Henderson worked alongside other major figures including Rita Angus, John Weeks, Colin McCahon and Milan Mrkusich and was one of the first New Zealand artists to commit herself to an overtly modern style.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

McCahon country / Paton, Justin
“In this landmark book, celebrated writer and curator Justin Paton takes readers on a journey through the landscape of Aotearoa, as the artist loved and painted it. From Otago to Canterbury, Takaka to Taranaki, Muriwai to Northland and many more places in between, Paton brings his curator’s eye to a selection of nearly 200 of McCahon’s paintings and drawings, including iconic and beloved works and others never before published.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Colin McCahon: there is only one direction. Vol. I 1919-1959 / Simpson, Peter “In the first of a two-volume work chronicling 45 years of painting by New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon, leading McCahon scholar, writer, and curator Peter Simpson chronicles the evolution of McCahon’s work over the artist’s entire career. Each volume includes over 300 colour illustrations, with a selection of reproductions (many never previously published), plus photographs, catalogue covers, facsimiles and other illustrative material.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

The meaning of trees / Vennell, Robert
“This treasure of a book pays homage to New Zealand’s native plant species while telling the story of plants and people in Aotearoa. Beautifully illustrated with botanical drawings, paintings and photographs, it shows us how a globally unique flora has been used for food, medicine, shelter, spirituality and science. From Jurassic giants to botanical oddballs – these are our wonderful native and endemic plants.” (Adapted from our catalogue)


The New Photography: New Zealand’s First-generation Contemporary Photographers / McCredie, Athol
“Athol McCredie is a leading NZ photography curator and in this beautiful book he tells the story of the beginning of contemporary/art photography in Aotearoa. Photographers discussed include Gary Baigent, Max Oettli, and Ans Westra.” (Adapted from Fishpond)

Ockham NZ Book Awards General Non-Fiction Long List

The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards long list has been announced and contains a myriad of marvelous books in the General Non-Fiction Award category. It is heartening to see such a fantastic list of true stories that are ours and that have enriched our lives and nation.

The short list will be announced on 4 March, and the final prize winners will be presented with their awards on 12 May.

Check out all the titles – we have them all in our libraries –  in the General Non-Fiction Award category long list here:

Women mean business: colonial businesswomen in New Zealand / Bishop, Catherine
“From Kaitaia in Northland to Oban on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s nineteenth-century towns were full of entrepreneurial women. Then, as now, there was no typical businesswoman. They were middle and working class; young and old; Māori and Pākehā; single, married, widowed and sometimes bigamists. Their businesses could be wild successes or dismal failures, lasting just a few months or a lifetime.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Dead people I have known / Carter, Shayne
“In Dead People I Have Known, legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound and his own life in a frank, moving, and often funny autobiography.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Dead letters: censorship and subversion in New Zealand, 1914-1920 / Davidson, Jared
“Intimate and engaging, this dramatic narrative weaves together the personal and political, bringing to light the reality of wartime censorship. In an age of growing state power, new forms of surveillance and control, and fragility of the right to privacy and freedom of opinion, Dead Letters is a startling reminder that we have been here before.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Shirley Smith: an examined life / Gaitanos, Sarah
“Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whose life-long commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality, and community service left a profound legacy. Her life was shaped by some of the most turbulent currents of the 20th century, and she in turn helped shape her country for the better.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Wild honey: reading New Zealand women’s poetry / Green, Paula
“Highly regarded poet and anthologist Paula Green is the author of this much overdue survey of New Zealand’s women poets. The selection is generous, the tone is at times gentle and accessible, and Green’s reach is wide.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Finding Frances Hodgkins / Kisler, Mary
“When Frances Hodgkins first left New Zealand in 1901, location became a key factor in her determination to succeed as an artist. In this engaging book, Mary Kisler follows in Hodgkins’ footsteps through England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Wales to discover the locations in which Hodgkins constantly pushed her exploration of modernism. Warm, insightful, fresh, expert and richly illustrated with more than 70 artworks, this handsome book sheds new light on Hodgkins’ life, art and social milieu.” (Adpated from our catalogue)

Towards the mountain: a story of grief and hope forty years on from Erebus / Myles, Sarah
“Marking the 40th anniversary of the Erebus disaster, this is the first book on that tragedy written by a member of one of the affected families.” (Catalogue)

The New Zealand Wars  Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa / O’Malley, Vincent
“Vincent O’Malley’s new book provides a highly accessible introduction to the causes, events and consequences of the New Zealand Wars. The text is supported by extensive full-colour illustrations as well as timelines, graphs and summary tables.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Fifteen million years in Antarctica / Priestley, Rebecca
“Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica offers a deeply personal tour of a place in which a person can feel like an outsider in more ways than one. With generosity and candour, Priestley reflects on what Antarctica can tell us about Earth’s future and asks: do people even belong in this fragile, otherworldly place?” (Adapted from our catalogue)

Whale oil / Thomson, Margie
“The shocking, and completely true story of blogger Cameron Slater known as Whale Oil and his systematic online attack of Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield that destroyed Blomfield’s reputation and career and turned him into a social outcast. Blomfield spent seven years and hundreds of thousands of dollars taking a defamation case against Slater, which he ultimately won, establishing that Slater’s vendetta was based entirely on lies. This book is a remarkable piece of investigative writing, a story of courage and tenacity, which reminds us how important it is to stand up to bullies, and to be reassured that in the end they do not always win.” (Adapted from our catalogue)

The 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlist

The 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlist has just been announced and what a fabulous, rich and diverse list it is. Ranging from The Man Who Would Not See by Rajorshi Chakraborti to Caroline’s Bikini by Kirsty Gunn, from The New Ships by Kate Duignan to All This by Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan, the judges are going to have a hard time selecting an overall winner. It’s great to see how healthy and flourishing the New Zealand fiction world is. May the best book win!

The 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for fiction (Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize) longlisted titles are:

Syndetics book coverThe man who would not see / Rajorshi Chakraborti.
“As children in Calcutta, Ashim and Abhay made a small mistake that split their family forever. Thirty years later, Ashim has re-entered his brother’s life, with blame and retribution on his mind. It seems nothing short of smashing Abhay’s happy home will make good the damage from the past. At least, this is what Abhay and his wife Lena are certain is happening. A brother has travelled all the way from small-town India to New Zealand bearing ancient – and false – grudges, and with the implacable objective of blowing up every part of his younger brother’s life. Reconciliation was just a Trojan horse. But is Ashim really the villain he appears to be, or is there a method to his havoc?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new ships / Kate Duignan.
“Peter Collie is adrift in the wake of his wife’s death. His attempts to understand the turn his life has taken lead him back to the past, to dismaying events on an Amsterdam houseboat in the seventies, returning to New Zealand and meeting Moira, an amateur painter who carried secrets of her own, and to a trip to Europe years later with his family. An unexpected revelation forces Peter to navigate anew his roles as a husband, father and son. Set in Wellington after the fall of the Twin Towers, and traversing London, Europe, the Indian subcontinent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMazarine / Charlotte Grimshaw.
“When her daughter vanishes during a heatwave in Europe, writer Frances Sinclair embarks on a hunt that takes her across continents and into her own past. What clues can Frances find in her own history, and who is the mysterious Mazarine? Following the narrative thread left by her daughter, she travels through cities touched by terrorism and surveillance, where ways of relating are subtly changed, and a startling new fiction seems to be constructing itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCaroline’s bikini : an arrangement of a novel with an introduction and some further materials / Kirsty Gunn.
“Art needs a sense of lack to bring about its own effects; where there is no feeling of need to make up a shortfall, there will be no work. Alright’ I said, ‘I’ll try…’ This is how Emily Stuart opens the intricately involved account of a classic love affair that becomes Caroline’s Bikini: a tale of hope, passion, and the power of the imagination. For they say, the story of love – or, rather, falling in love – is timeless, and that unrequited love is the most passionate of all. It’s certainly a narrative that is, in its own curious and enticing way, as old as Western literature itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cage / Lloyd Jones.
“Two mysterious strangers appear at a hotel in a small country town.
Where have they come from? Who are they? What catastrophe are they fleeing?
The townspeople want answers, but the strangers are unable to speak of their trauma. And before long, wary hospitality shifts to suspicion and fear, and the care of the men slides into appalling cruelty.
Lloyd Jones’s fable-like novel The Cage is a profound and unsettling novel about humanity and dignity and the ease with which we’re able to justify brutality.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ice Shelf / Anne Kennedy.
“On the eve of flying to Antarctica to take up an arts fellowship, thirty-something Janice, recently separated, has a long night of remembrance, regret and realisation as she goes about the city looking for a friend to take care of her fridge while she’s away. En route she discards section after section of her novel in the spirit of editing until there is nothing left to edit. The Ice Shelf, a novel written as Acknowledgements, is an allegory for the dangers of wasting love and other non-renewable resources.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThis mortal boy / Fiona Kidman.This Mortal Boy
“Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand. But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society’s reaction to outsiders?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe imaginary lives of James Pōneke / Tina Makereti.
“The tale of James Poneke- orphaned son of a chief; ardent student of English; wide-eyed survivor. All the world’s a stage, especially when you’re a living exhibit. But anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London. When James meets the man with laughing dark eyes and the woman who dresses as a man, he begins to discover who people really are beneath their many guises. Although London is everything James most desires, this new world is more dark and dazzling than he could have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll this by chance / Vincent O’Sullivan.
“If we don’t have the past in mind, it is merely history. If we do, it is still part of the present. Esther’s grandparents first meet at a church dance in London in 1947. Stephen, a shy young Kiwi, has left to practice pharmacy on the other side of the world. Eva has grown up English, with no memory of the Jewish family who sent their little girl to safety. When the couple emigrate, the peace they seek in New Zealand cannot overcome the past they have left behind. Following the lives of Eva, her daughter Lisa and her granddaughter Esther, All This by Chance is a moving multi generational family saga about the legacy of the Holocaust and the burden of secrets never shared, by one of New Zealand’s finest writers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Due in the library shortly and already highly regarded is Majella Cullinane’s The Life of De’Ath set in Otago and the battlefields of France during World War I. It’s a searing read about deserters during the War I, and a young man struggles to find himself and break free of the social and family pressures to conform. 

 

 

Wellingtonian author Pip Adam wins top NZ fiction prize!

Local Wellingtonian author Pip Adam has won the top fiction prize at the Ockham NZ Book Awards with her fantastic novel The New Animals. Published in 2017, this is Pip’s second novel. The award win includes a $50,000 cash prize and has been won previously by Catherine Chidgey, Eleanor Catton, Emily Perkins and other fantastic writers.

In November we interviewed Pip about The New Animals, so make sure to give the blog post a read if you haven’t already. We have the book in our collection in both print and ebook formats, so be sure to reserve it now!

Syndetics book coverThe new animals / Pip Adam.
“Carla, Sharon and Duey have worked in fashion for longer than they care to remember, for them, there’s nothing new under the sun. They’re Generation X: tired, cynical and sick of being used. Tommy, Cal and Kurt are Millenials, they’ve come from nowhere, but with their monied families behind them they’re ready to remake fashion. They represent the new sincere, the anti-irony. Both generations are searching for a way out, an alternative to their messed-up reality. Pip Adam’s new novel walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life with an unflinching eye. From the the wreckage and waste of the 21st century, new animals must emerge.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Pip Adam's The New Animals