22 Jun 2010

Debut novel in national award finals

3:43 pm on 22 June 2010

A debut novel from a Wellington author is a finalist in the revamped annual national book awards.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards have been streamlined to have 16 finalists in four categories, down from eight categories in previous years.

The three fiction finalists include Wellington author Alison Wong's novel As the Earth Turns Silver, which is up against works from two well known authors: Fiona Farrell's novel Limestone, and short story writer Owen Marshall's collection Living as a Moon.

Two books which have been snapped up by readers with an interest in Te Ao Maori have made the shortlist.

Judith Binney's history of Te Urewera, Encircled Lands: Te Urewera, 1820-1921, is a finalist in the general non-fiction section, and Deidre Brown's Maori Architecture: from fale to wharenui and beyond is a contender for best illustrated non-fiction title.

The winners will be announced in Auckland in August.

Meanwhile, a book about a work co-operative for gang women has won writer Pip Desmond the New Zealand Society of Authors E H McCormick award for best first non-fiction book.

The convenor of judges for the New Zealand Book Awards, Stephen Stratford, says Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs is a potent combination of oral history and memoir.

He told Waatea News Pip Desmond, who'd been a member of Wellington's Aroha Trust during its three-year existence in the 1970s, had exceptional access to the women.