2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards

The winners of the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards for the New Zealand crime fiction were announced at the WORD Christchurch Spring Festival on October 30.

BEST NOVEL

  • AUE by Becky Manawatu. [Note: WordPress does not support the proper E with a macron.]

BEST FIRST NOVEL

  • The Nancys by RWR McDonald

Both were debut books.

The judges called The Nancys —

“Hilarious and inventive, the dynamic between the young protagonist and the adult characters is unusual and special. A clever hat-tip to one of the most indelible female characters in the genre, and a story that blends crime and humour in unexpected ways. A book with standout, oddball characters.”

The judges said about AUE:

“A breathtaking expose of lives lived on the margins, and the fight for redemption and absolution … takes technical chances without being overbearing, and it’s affecting without being schmaltzy … Utterly devastating and some of the finest prose I have come across in the genre or in any recent Kiwi literature … Manawatu doesn’t use crime as a plot device but shows it woven into the fabric of her characters’ lives, defining them, sometimes destroying them, and serving as a perverse unifier.”

It was the award’s tenth anniversary season.

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