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Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2020 shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:


  • Auē (Becky Manawatu, Mākaro Press)
  • Pearly Gates (Owen Marshall, Vintage)
  • A Mistake (Carl Shuker, Victoria University Press)
  • Halibut on the Moon (David Vann, Text)

General nonfiction

  • Dead People I Have Known (Shayne Carter, Victoria University Press)
  • Shirley Smith: An examined life (Sarah Gaitanos, Victoria University Press)
  • Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand women’s poetry (Paula Green, Massey University Press)
  • Towards the Mountain: A story of grief and hope forty years on from Erebus (Sarah Myles, A&U)


  • Moth Hour (Anne Kennedy, Auckland University Press)
  • How to Live (Helen Rickerby, Auckland University Press)
  • Lay Studies (Steven Toussaint, Victoria University Press)
  • How I Get Ready (Ashleigh Young, Victoria University Press)

Illustrated nonfiction

  • Crafting Aotearoa: A cultural history of making in New Zealand and the wider Moana Oceania (ed by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner, Te Papa Press)
  • Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of resistance, persistence and defiance (ed by Stephanie Gordon, Matariki Williams & Puawai Cairns, Te Papa Press)
  • We Are Here: An atlas of Aotearoa (Chris McDowall & Tim Denee, Massey University Press)
  • McCahon Country (Justin Paton, PRH).

The shortlisted titles were chosen from longlists announced in January. The winner of the fiction award receives NZ$55,000 (A$53,180), while the other category winners each receive NZ$10,000 (A$9670).

The winners—including the Best First Book Awards and a Māori Language Award—will be announced at a ceremony on 12 May.

For more information about the New Zealand Book Awards, visit the website.

Image via New Zealand Book Awards Trust


Category: Awards Local news