28 Jul 2011

Wellington music historian wins top literary prize

8:23 am on 28 July 2011

A Wellington music historian has taken the top prize at the New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Chris Bourke's non-fiction book, titled Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918 to 1964 was awarded the Book of the Year.

Blue Smoke looks at the nation's popular music history and includes many interviews Mr Bourke has carried out while contributing to Radio New Zealand's music programmes.

The book also won the non-fiction award and the people's choice award, as voted by thousands of New Zealanders.

Chris Bourke says he "just blown away" by the award. "It's part of the insecurity of being a writer that you don't know whether it's any good or not, so it was a real shock."

The fiction award was won by Dunedin resident Laurence Fearnley.

The Hut Builder is Ms Fearnley's seventh novel, and focusses on the story of a typical southern man.