Art dealer's biography beats world acclaimed NZ novel

Eleanor Catton

The biography of a Wellington art dealer topped Man Booker prize-winning novel The Luminaries as the New Zealand Post-sponsored book of the year.

The judges described Jill Trevelyan’s Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer as “a stunning book, brilliant in every respect… symphonic; every part of it, from its writing and formidable research, to its illustrations and production through to its ‘spirit,’ is in perfect harmony.” 

The book of the year is chosen from the winners of four award categories.

As expected, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries won the fiction section, while Peter McLeavey won the general non-fiction category.

Other category award winners were Vincent O’Sullivan’s Us (poetry) and Coast: A New Zealand journey by Bruce Ansley and Jane Ussher (illustrated non-fiction).

The Luminaries also won the People’s Choice award and Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high country station, by Harry Broad and Rob Suisted, won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice award.

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