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Winners announced for 2007 Montana Book Awards

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Wellington writer Lloyd Jones' winning streak continues, with his novel Mister Pip receiving the 2007 Montana Book Award for fiction or poetry, as well as the Reader's Choice Award. The 2007 Montana…

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Wellington writer Lloyd Jones' winning streak continues, with his novel Mister Pip receiving the 2007 Montana Book Award for fiction or poetry, as well as the Reader's Choice Award. The 2007 Montana Medal for non-fiction went to Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Audrey Eagle.

The Montana New Zealand Book Awards, this country's most prestigious awards for contemporary writing, were presented at a gala awards ceremony at Sky City in Auckland last night.Wellington writer Lloyd Jones' winning streak continues, with his novel Mister Pip receiving the 2007 Montana Book Award for fiction or poetry, as well as the Reader's Choice Award. The 2007 Montana Medal for non-fiction went to Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Audrey Eagle.

The Montana New Zealand Book Awards, this country's most prestigious awards for contemporary writing, were presented at a gala awards ceremony at Sky City in Auckland last night.Award-winning non-fiction book a "monumental work"

Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand contains more than 800 hand painted plates; images of every single New Zealand tree and shrub, some of which are now extinct.

2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards judges, Dr Paul Millar, David Larsen and Morrin Rout say the monumental work is a magnificent tribute to Audrey Eagle's vision, perseverance and consummate skill as a botanical artist.

"Audrey Eagle has devoted her life to the painstaking work of classifying and illustrating New Zealand flora. The product - is a book that will be treasured and utilised for generations."

Mr Pip Wellington author's "most significant book yet"

Lloyd Jones' was awarded the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize earlier this year. Judges' convenor, Dr Paul Millar says Mister Pip is Lloyd Jones' most significant book yet.

"It develops certain key themes from earlier novels - history's equivocal truths, the vulnerability and strength of children - into an extraordinary claim for the power for literature to define, rescue, inspire and create, even across cultural boundaries."

More books, better books, and bigger books

The judging panel said the best books in this year's awards speak to almost every facet of our lives: art, fauna, flora, food, music, history, industry and politics are just a few of many subjects covered by this year's entries.

"Not long ago the doomsayers of the digital age predicted the demise of the book. We salute the New Zealand publishing industry for answering them in the best way possible; by producing year-by-year more books, better books, and bigger books."

2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards winners:

Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry winner and fiction category winner: Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Books)
Fiction runners up: The Cowboy Dog by Nigel Cox (Victoria University Press)
The Fainter by Damien Wilkins (Victoria University Press)

Poetry winner: The Goose Bath by Janet Frame (Vintage)

Montana Medal for Non-Fiction winner and illustrative category winner:
Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Audrey Eagle (Te Papa Press)

Biography winner: Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music by Philip Norman (Canterbury University Press)

History winner: Vaka Moana: Voyages of the Ancestors Edited by K R Howe (David Bateman Ltd)

Reference and Anthology winner: Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era: An Illustrated History 1830-1900 by William Cottrell (Reed Publishing)

Lifestyle & Contemporary Culture winner: Stitch: Contemporary New Zealand Textile Artists by Ann Packer (Random House)

Environment winner: Ghosts of Gondwana: The History of Life in New Zealand by George Gibbs (Craig Potton Publishing)

Each category winner was presented with a prize of $5,000. The winners of the Montana Medal for fiction or poetry (formerly called the Deutz prize) and the Montana Medal for non fiction were each presented with an additional prize of $10,000. The runners-up in the Fiction category each received $2,500. The Readers' Choice Award carries a monetary prize worth $1,000.

New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Best First Book Awards

The best first book awards for non-fiction, poetry, and fiction were established by the New Zealand Society of Authors with the aim of encouraging new writers and their publishers.

NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction: The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King (Black Swan).

NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry: Secret Heart by Airini Beautrais (Victoria University Press)

NZSA E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for Non- Fiction: Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era: An Illustrated History 1830-1900 by William Cottrell (Reed Publishing).

Book Publishers Association (BPANZ) Reviewer and Review Page or Programme Awards

The BPANZ Review Awards recognise the vital importance of articulate, responsible, informed criticism in maintaining a healthy literary culture. The judges this year were arts journalist and critic Lynn Freeman and Auckland Writers and Readers Festival director, Jill Rawnsley.

The BPANZ Reviewer of the Year: David Eggleton.

Best Review Page or Programme Award: The New Zealand Listener

31/7/07

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

31 Jul 2007

The Big Idea Editor

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