25 Jul 2013

Book award finalists announced

6:02 am on 25 July 2013

Finalists have been unveiled for this year's New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Vying for the prize in fiction is The Big Music by Kirsty Gunn, In the Absence of Heroes by Anthony McCarten, The Forrests by Emily Perkins and The Intentions Book by Gigi Fenster.

Awards will also made be for poetry, illustrated nonfiction, general nonfiction and the bookseller's choice.

The winner of the Maori language award is the science-fiction novel, Nga Waituhi O Rehua or The Chronicles of Rehua by the late Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira.

Sarah Jane Barnett's A Man Runs into a Woman is a finalist in the poetry section, and was published only after funding was raised through the website Pledge Me, which gathers donations online from the public.

The chief judge, broadcaster John Campbell, says a number of finalists have had books published by smaller publishing houses.

Mr Campbell says the judges have joked that poetry should be ranked alongside rugby as a national sport because local writers are so good at it.

Voting for the people's choice award and closes on 18 August, and winners of all awards be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on 28 August.