Tom Scott memoir, Gordon Walters study make book awards shortlist

Four novels will contest the $50,000 fiction prize. 

Tom Scott's memoir Drawn Out will face off against two scholarly historical works in the non-fiction section of this year's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The four finalists include new titles by historian and anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond and Massey University history professor Michael Belgrave. Journalist Diana Wichtel's bestselling biography of her father, who survived the Holocaust, is the other finalist.

The illustrated non-fiction section includes a major study of artist Gordon Walters for the New Vision exhibition staged by the Auckland and Dunedin public art galleries.

The rich $50,000 Acorn Foundation prize for fiction will be contested by University of Canterbury professor of English Patrick Evans, debut novelist Annaleese Jochems, Wellington lawyer Brannavan Gnanalingam and creative writing teacher Pip Adam.

The shortlists are:

Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction:
• Dancing with the King: The Rise and Fall of the King Country, 1864-1885 by Michael Belgrave (Auckland University Press)
• Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond (Auckland University Press)
• Drawn Out: A Seriously Funny Memoir by Tom Scott (Allen & Unwin NZ)
• Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press)

Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize:
• The New Animals by Pip Adam (Victoria University Press)
• Salt Picnic by Patrick Evans (Victoria University Press)
• Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson)
• Baby by Annaleese Jochems (Victoria University Press)

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award:
• Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins (Bridget Williams Books)
• Tōtara: A Natural and Cultural History by Philip Simpson (Auckland University Press)
• Gordon Walters: New Vision by Zara Stanhope (commissioning editor), Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons, Julia Waite (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Dunedin Public Art Gallery)
• The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula by Jonathan West (Otago University Press)

Poetry Award:
• Anchor Stone by Tony Beyer (Cold Hub Press)
• Night Horse by Elizabeth Smither (Auckland University Press)
• Rāwāhi by Briar Wood (Anahera Press)
• The Yield by Sue Wootton (Otago University Press)

The winners will be announced on May 15 at the Auckland Writers Festival.

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