The 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards finalists are...

We're down to the sixteen finalists in the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. And the finalists are...

One hundred and fifty entries; four panels of three specialist judges; and forty longlisted titles. We're down to the sixteen, mostly white finalist books in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards that take place on Tuesday May 16 as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. The university presses are once again dominating the short list; Victoria University Press and Auckland University Press have ten nominations between them, which speaks to the quality of both publishing houses. Congratulations to all finalists.

Congratulations to: The Wish Child by the elegant Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press), Love as a Stranger by southern stalwart Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House), Billy Bird by fiercely smart and funny Emma Neale (Vintage, Penguin Random House), and The Name on the Door is Not Mine by Grand Old Man C.K. Stead (Allen & Unwin).

Read an excerpt from Catherine Chidgey's The Wish Child on The Pantograph Punch.

Read our interview with finalist Emma Neale where she talks about writing her book, Billy Bird.

Congratulations to: Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avia (Victoria University Press), Hera Lindsay Bird by the awesomely notorious Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press), Fits & Starts by Andrew Johnston (Victoria University Press), and This Paper Boat by Gregory Kan (Auckland University Press).

Read a conversation between Tusiata Avia and playwright Victor Rodger.

Read an essay by Gregory Kan about his time doing compulsory military service in Singapore, which he also writes about in This Paper Boat.

Watch our video of Hera Lindsay Bird's poem, 'Children are the Orgasm of the World' and read our literary editor Sarah Jane Barnett's review of Hera Lindsay Bird.

Congratulations to: A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes (Bridget Williams Books), New Zealand Wine: The Land, the Vines, the People by Warren Moran (Auckland University Press), Ann Shelton: Dark Matter, edited by Zara Stanhope and managing editor Clare McIntosh (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki), and Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch 1933-1953 by Peter Simpson (Auckland University Press).

Read Simon Palenski's review of Bloomsbury South.

In the only category that isn't a 50:50 men to women ratio, congratulations to: This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art by Anthony Byrt (Auckland University Press), My Father’s Island by Adam Dudding (Victoria University Press), The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities, 1840-1920 by Ben Schrader (Bridget Williams Books) and Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press).

You can read Ashleigh Young's Loose Canons where she shares five things that have informed her work, and our interview with Young last week about her Windham-Campbell win. And we also present you with the holy grail of literary hip: Young being interviewed by Hera Lindsay Bird.

The winners (including of the four Best First Book awards) will be announced at a ceremony in the Aotea Centre on Tuesday May 16, 2017, held as the first public event of the Auckland Writers Festival.The awards ceremony is open to the public and tickets can be purchased from 17 March.

Image Credit: 'Fireworks' by Jamie is used under a Creative Commons CC-BY license.

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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