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.
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.”
The winners of the 2019
Ngaio Marsh Awards for the best New Zealand crime novel were
announced in Christchurch on September 14.
THIS MORTAL BOY
by Fiona Kidman (Penguin)
“Despite the historical nature of the novel, the spirit still resonates in our time with regards to bigotry and discrimination,” said the judges. “The quality of the writing is extraordinary: a richly textured sense of 1950s New Zealand and an elegant structure and flow creating a harrowing tale full of humanity.”
Best First Novel
CALL ME EVIE by
JP Pomare (Hachette)
“An interesting take on unreliable narrators,” said the judges. “Evocative and elegant writing. An intricate story packed with suspense and a fascinating exploration of the concept of false memory.”
THE SHORT LIFE AND MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF JANE
FURLONG by Kelly Dennett (Awa Press)
“A tragic story approached with sincerity and compassion,” said the judges. “There was a sense of understated rage at the injustice of it all. Dennett has, with compassion and respect, shown us the young woman who was so much more than a ‘teen prostitute’ who went missing from K Road.”
The award, which honors the memory
of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland with a
$2,000 grant to an emerging writer of color, was created in 2014 to support
SinC’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for
excellence and diversity in crime writing.
2019 Ned Kelly Award Longlists
Crime Writers Association
announced the longlists for the 2019
Ned Kelly Awards. The complete lists are at the link.