by Paul Beatty
A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality―the black Chinese restaurant.
Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens―on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles―the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: “I’d die in the same bedroom I’d grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that’ve been there since ’68 quake.” Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that’s left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.
Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident―the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins―he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
by Stephen Daisley
A universal story of love and aspiration, betrayal and disappointment, the prose is masterful, simple and moving. The characters are utterly believable and complex in their ordinariness. The author’s portrayal of hard physical tasks in conjunction with the mental effort required to carry on in the face of everyday obstacles and heartbreak is a thing of beauty.
“Coming Rain is a universal story of love and aspiration, betrayal and disappointment. The prose is masterful, simple and moving. The characters are utterly believable and complex in their ordinariness. It was a book that all three judges came across joyfully and read with the ease of those who know they’re in the hands of a confident writer.” Jill Rawnsley, convenor of the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Fiction category
Congratulations to the following winners of the 2016 Ockham Book Awards
THE ACORN FOUNDATION LITERARY AWARD
Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History
Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris
Bridget Williams Books
Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood
The winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are as follows:
||Margaret Mahy Book of the Year
Young Adult Book Award
Singing Home the Whale
by Mandy Hager
Penguin Random House
||Picture Book Award
by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper
||Junior Fiction Award
by Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill
by Debbie McCauley
||Best First Book
Māori Art for Kids
by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke
Craig Potton Publishing
||Maori Language Award
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Translated by Kawata Teepa
(translation of span Keys, a finalist in the Picture Book category)
Children’s Choice Award Winners
The Anzac Puppy
by Peter Millett & Trish Bowles
The Island of Lost Horses
by Stacy Gregg
The Letterbox Cat & other poems
by Paula Green & Myles Lawford
||Young Adult Fiction
by Ella West
Allen & Unwin
Marsden Books congratulates all the winners at the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards announced 24 August, 2014.
New Zealand Post Book of the Year and General Non-fiction
Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer by Jill Trevelyan, published by Te Papa Press.
Fiction and People’s Choice
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Victoria University Press)
Us, then by Vincent O’Sullivan (Victoria University Press)
Coast: A New Zealand journey by Bruce Ansley & Jane Ussher (Random House NZ (Godwit))
Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice
Molesworth: Stories from New Zealand’s largest high country station by Harry Broad and Rob Suisted (Craig Potton Publishing)
NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book award for Fiction
Tough by Amy Head (Victoria University Press)
NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book award for Poetry
Horse with Hat by Marty Smith (Victoria University Press)
NZSA E. H. McCormick Best First Book for Non-fiction
Tragedy at Pike River Mine by Rebecca Macfie (Awa Press)
David Elliot is the 2014 winner of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Award. First given in 1991, it recognises lifetime achievement in the genre of children’s writing and illustration.
The Shock of the Fall
Nathan Filer won against more fancied contenders, not least Kate Atkinson, for his debut novel The Shock of the Fall.
Read the full article in The Guardian online.