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Young and McIlvanney awarded in 2019 Waitangi Day Honours

Samoan/Maori writer Lani Wendt Young and Dunedin-based crime author Liam McIlvanney have been awarded in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ (NZSA) annual Waitangi Day Honours.

Young, a columnist and the author of ten books, said: ‘I am humbled to receive this recognition and express my thanks to the New Zealand Society of Authors—Faafetai tele lava [Samoan: Thank you so much]. As a brown woman who writes—oftentimes from the margins and smashing gates as I do so—I have seen the transformative power wrought by stories written by us, about us, and for us, as our communities the world over revel in books they can see themselves in, that they can embrace as their own.’

Scottish-born McIlvanney, who won the Ngaio Marsh Award in 2014, said: ‘I am stunned and delighted to receive this honour … It testifies to the ongoing vitality of the crime fiction produced in this country and, on a personal level, it’s a very special moment for this transplanted Scot. I am due to become a New Zealand citizen at a ceremony in Dunedin on 19 February, and to receive this literary honour in the same month is deeply moving.’

‘In person and product, both recipients represent different but complimentary examples of contemporary literature in Aotearoa,’ added NZSA president Siobhan Harvey.

First introduced in 2013, the Waitangi Day Honours are voted for by NZSA members. Previous recipients include Eleanor Catton, Philip Mann, Ashleigh Young and Selina Tusitala-Marsh.



Category: Local news