‘Contemporary Maori Writing’ Takes Major
Placing in the ‘Book of the Year’ Award
It was my privilege recently, at the request of Margaret Orbell, who compiled and edited the book, and who was unable to attend the function, to receive the prize for second placing which ‘Contemporary Maori Writing,’ published by Reeds, took at the ‘James Wattie Book of the Year Award’ for 1971.
The award was announced at a luncheon held in an hotel in Christchurch on 30 September to mark the end of ‘Book Week’. It was a sumptuous affair attended by over two hundred writers, editors, publishers and friends from all parts of the country.
The other place-getters were first, ‘William and Mary Rolleston’ by Rosamund Rolleston, also published by Reeds, and third, ‘Gardening With New Zealand Plants, Shrubs and Trees’ by Mrs Muriel E. Fisher, Mrs E. Satchell and Janet M. Watkins, published by Collins. The judges were Messrs A. C. Brassington of Christ-church, senior judge, R. Goodman of Auckland and J. Kelleher of Wellington.
Selection was based on literary merit, over-all quality, editing, illustrations, topicality, price in relation to value for money and ability to last. Books eligible for the award must be written by a New Zealand author or an author permanently resident in New Zealand and be published by a member of the New Zealand Book Publishers Association.
In his comments, Mr Brassington said, “‘Contemporary Maori Writing’ could well become a standard work of writing in the special field it covered. It was well produced, its editorial work could not be faulted and the prose and poetry displayed creative work of the highest order.”