Monday, August 10, 2020

Narrowing the Ngaio Field

This season’s flurry of crime-fiction awards news continues, as organizers of New Zealand’s annual Ngaio Marsh Awards announce their finalists for two separate 2020 prizes:

Best Novel:
Whatever It Takes, by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)
Girl from the Tree House, by Gudrun Frerichs (Self-published)
Auē, by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)
The Nancys, by R.W.R. McDonald (Allen & Unwin)
In the Clearing, by J.P. Pomare (Hachette New Zealand)
The Wild Card, by Renée (Cuba Press)

Best First Novel:
Tugga’s Mob, by Stephen Johnson (Clan Destine Press)
Auē, by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)
The Nancys, by R.W.R. McDonald (Allen & Unwin)
Into the Void, by Christina O’Reilly (Self-published e-book)

A news release says, “This year’s finalists are a fascinating group of Kiwi storytellers who’ve collectively won or been shortlisted for accolades in New Zealand and overseas, including the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement, the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, the Saint-Maur Crime Novel of the Year in France, and the Edgar Awards and Barry Awards in the United States.

“‘Our international judging panels have been dealing with a range of rāhui and lockdown situations this year but have thoroughly enjoyed reading the range and quality of stories offered by our Kiwi authors,’ says [founder and judging convenor Craig] Sisterson. ‘There were differing favourites, tough decisions, and some great reads our judges loved that didn’t become finalists. A decade on from our inaugural Ngaio Marsh Awards, our local genre is certainly in great health.’”

The longlist of contenders for Best Novel can be found here.

Winners of this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards are to be declared during the WORD Christchurch Spring Festival, October 29-November 1. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

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