13 May 2020

Auē wins top prize at Ockham Book Awards

From Morning Report, 8:55 am on 13 May 2020

Becky Manawatu's debut novel Auē pulled off a rare feat at last night's Ockham Book Awards, winning the country's top Fiction award as well as best first book of fiction.

The Westport based writer gave her acceptance speech via zoom during the Awards first online ceremony, surrounded by her whānau.

Among those she thanked were her cousins whose experences of violence and gang culture were woven into her novel about two orphaned and separated Māori brothers.

The Award judges praised Auē for its rawness and sadness, and its insights into the minds of children and young men. 

The Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction comes with a $55,000 award which Becky Manawatu hopes will allow her to keep writing.

Standing Room Only presenter Lynn Freeman spoke to Becky last night just after the announcement of her double award win.