15 May 2018

Pip Adam's 'The New Animals' takes top prize at NZ Book Awards

8:47 pm on 15 May 2018

Author Pip Adam has taken out the country's most prestigious literary prize - with her novel The New Animals winning the fiction award at the Ockham NZ Book Awards.

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Photo: Supplied

The $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize was the final prize announced at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in Auckland tonight.

The Book Awards - which were celebrated at the Aotea Centre - are in their 50th year.

Past recipients of awards include Witi Ihimaera, Keri Hulme and Maurice Gee.

The judges said Adam's parody of the Auckland fashion scene was confrontational and held a mirror up to contemporary New Zealand culture.

"The New Animals handles a large ensemble of unrooted characters with skill. It's stylistically raw and reveals a good deal in a modest way. The New Animals is so vivid in imagery and imagination that the judges haven't stopped thinking about it since.

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Poetry award winner Night Horse Photo: Supplied

"In this category in 2018 it's the book with the most blood on the page. It will give you an electric shock."

Journalist Diana Wichtel won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for her memoir Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father.

The poetry category was taken out by three-time winner Elizabeth Smither for her collection Night Horse, while the illustrated non-fiction category went to Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins and their book Tuai: A traveller in two worlds.