28 Aug 2014

Biography edges out Luminaries

6:28 am on 28 August 2014

The top prizewinner at this year's New Zealand Post Book Awards says she is overwhelmed and completely surprised.

Hon Christopher Finlayson with Jill Trevelyan, winner of New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014

Hon Christopher Finlayson with Jill Trevelyan, winner of New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 Photo: Mark Tantrum / Booksellers NZ

Jill Trevelyan's Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer - about a Wellington art dealer - took out Book of the Year and Best Non-Fiction at the ceremony in Wellington tonight.

The judges called it a brilliant work and commended Mrs Trevelyan's research.

Eleanor Catton's Man Booker prize-winning novel The Luminaries won Best Fiction, while Dunedin-based poet Vincent O'Sullivan took out the poetry category for Us, Then.

Trevelyan, who takes home $25,000 in prize money, said she went to the awards to celebrate being nominated but never expected to win.

"It's just rather astonishing. It's going to take me a long time to believe this. I feel like I'm going to wake up any moment now," she said.

"To have this kind of recognition for the book, for that story, is quite overwhelming."

Trevelyan said the award helped to acknowledge Mr McLeavey's huge contribution to the art world.

Publisher Claire Murdoch from Te Papa Press with Jill Trevelyan, winner of 2014 New Zealand Post Book of the Year

Publisher Claire Murdoch from Te Papa Press with Jill Trevelyan, winner of 2014 New Zealand Post Book of the Year Photo: Mark Tantrum / Booksellers NZ

Eleanor Catton, winner of the fiction category, at the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014

Eleanor Catton, winner of the fiction category, at the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014 Photo: Mark Tantrum / Booksellers NZ

Vincent O'Sullivan, winner of the poetry category, with Sir Michael Cullen and Fergus Barrowman, publisher from Victoria University Press, at the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards

Vincent O'Sullivan, winner of the poetry category, with Sir Michael Cullen and Fergus Barrowman, publisher from Victoria University Press, at the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards Photo: Mark Tantrum / Booksellers NZ

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