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Release: Michael Gifkins Prize Winner

Book News
Twenty-five-year-old debut novelist wins inaugural Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel
19 May 2018

Ruby Porter is the winner of the 2018 Michael Gifkins Prize

porterRuby Porter is the winner of the 2018 Michael Gifkins Prize for her remarkable novel, Attraction. Porter receives a publishing contract with Text and a NZ$10,000 advance against royalties. She accepted the award this afternoon (May 19) at the Michael Gifkins Prize party held during Auckland Writers Festival week.

The present reckons with the past in Attraction. Porter’s unnamed narrator is on a road trip between Auckland, Whāngārā and Levin with her best friend and her girlfriend, haunted by the spectre of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, her complicated family background and New Zealand’s colonial history. Jealousies swirl as the young women work out who they are and who they might become.

Text will publish Porter’s winning manuscript in 2019.

Porter is a tutor of creative writing at the University of Auckland. She has been published in Geometry Journal, Aotearotica, the Spinoff and the Wireless, and a selection of her poetry is available on NZEPC. In 2018, she also won the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest.

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Release: Pacific Scoundrels

Book News
Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific
17 May 2018

Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific, by John Dunmore

On Sale June 14, 2018 ($39.99 RRP, Upstart Press)

Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific is a wonderfully crafted collection of tales of the men, and in some cases the women, who sought to benefit from the discoveries of the early explorers.

They were mostly scoundrels and rogues with little conscience but great craftiness, and they left in their wake others who found themselves victims of unimaginable situations.

Here are the adventurers who once made the great Pacific their playground — from likeable dreamers to outright conmen, slavers and pirates, and even one self-titled Queen Emma.

There’s the extraordinary tale of James Proctor who used his wooden leg to trick natives into coming aboard his ship so he could spirit them away as slaves; or the French priest Fr Rougier who used his position to amass a fortune, eventually becoming the ‘King of Christmas Island’.

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Release: ‘Ghost South Road’

Book News
Scott Hamilton’s ‘Ghost South Road’
17 May 2018

New book supports Taika’s claims about New Zealand racism

• Maori needed a special card to move around the country
• Maori were banned from public bars in South Auckland
• Pukekohe magazine elocal with 50,000 circulation still publishing racist content

Taika Waititi made headlines recently when he called New Zealand ‘racist as f**k’. The author of a new book thinks he’s found evidence for Waititi’s claim.

‘During the twentieth century Maori suffered from a range of policies that remind me of apartheid South Africa’ historian Dr Scott Hamilton says. ‘If you were Maori you sometimes needed a special card to move around the country. If you were Maori you could be banned from bars and from other businesses.’

Hamilton makes these shocking claims in Ghost South Road, a book he wrote with funding from Auckland’s Mayoral Literary Grant. ‘I was the first recipient of the mayoral grant’ Hamilton says. ‘I told Len Brown, who set it up, that I wanted to expose the secret history of Auckland and New Zealand.’

Hamilton’s book tells the story of the Great South Road, which was built from Auckland into the Waikato and beyond by the British army that invaded Maori lands in 1863. After the British and local Pakeha soldiers had defeated Maori in the Waikato War, more than a million acres of Maori land was confiscated.

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Release: Ockham NZ Book Awards

Book News
Ockham NZ Book Award Winners Announced
15 May 2018

Pip Adam wins premiere book awards’ $52,000 prize

A novel which judges say ‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $52,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premiere book awards.

Wellington writer Pip Adam received the honour for her novel The New Animals (Victoria University Press) at the glittering Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony, which also marked the Awards’ 50th anniversary,held in Auckland’s Aotea Centre tonight.

The New Animals, which parodies the Auckland fashion scene, was praised by the category judges as a confrontational, revelatory novel that holds a mirror up to contemporary New Zealand culture. They said: “The New Animals handles a large ensemble of unrooted characters with skill. It’s stylistically raw and reveals a good deal in a modest way. The New Animals is so vivid in imagery and imagination that the judges haven’t stopped thinking about it since. In this category in 2018 it’s the book with the most blood on the page. It will give you an electric shock.”

Listener journalist Diana Wichtel won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for her memoir Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father (Awa Press). Read more »

Release: Martin Edmond in Wellington

Book News
Release: Martin Edmond in Wellington
14 May 2018:
Bridget Williams Books

Author Martin Edmond is Coming to Wellington

Martin Edmond is coming to Wellington!

Edmond and acclaimed editor Jane Parkin will be discussing the multiple worlds of ‘home’ and ‘away’ explored in The Expatriates. The talk will be held 6.00pm-7.00pm Monday 28 May (doors open 5.45) at City Gallery Wellington. Click to read more on our websiteFacebook, or to download an invitation.

Edmond’s new book, The Expatriates, considers the connections between New Zealand and Europe through the lives of four extraordinary individuals. Harold Williams, journalist and expert linguist; Ronald Syme, spy and historian of ancient Rome; John Platts-Mills, radical lawyer; and Joe Trapp, librarian – all of these men were born in New Zealand but achieved fame in Europe. They became, from the perspective of New Zealand, expatriates.

This conversation is the first event in the 2018 BWB Winter Series! The Winter Series, now in its third year, will be bringing BWB’s authors and ideas to towns nationwide. Keep an eye on our newsletter, website and Facebook page over the next few months and join us for some exciting events.

The Auckland Writers Festival starts this week, and don’t miss Damon Salesa’s Michael King lecture. Salesa, author of Island Time, will argue that it is time for New Zealand to embrace its Pacific talent and act like a Pacific nation. It’s a free event, and you can read all the details here.

Also at the Auckland Writers Festival is the Ockham New Zealand Book Award announcement. Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins is shortlisted. You can also see Jones speaking at the Festival (read more here).


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