The BPANZ Review Awards recognise the vital importance of articulate, responsible, informed criticism in maintaining a healthy literary culture.
The judges this year were writer, critic and former BPANZ Review Awards winner, David Eggleton, and publisher, Elizabeth Caffin.
Charlotte Grimshaw won the BPANZ Reviewer of the Year award ahead of finalists, fellow New Zealand Listener writer’s Jolisa Gracewood and Paula Morris.
The judges said, Charlotte Grimshaw reviews with a distinctive and welcome rigour.
‘She refuses to condescend to either author or reader, and we were impressed by her understanding that good fiction always worries away at serious moral issues. In sum, she demonstrates the analytical ability to carefully unpack a book, to show us its heart – or lack of it.’
A special acknowledgment was given to Iain Sharp’s, ‘cleverly-worded, knowledgeable and consistently emotionally-engaged’ sequences of short writing in the Sunday Star-Times. And a further special acknowledgment for the best long review was given to Jolisa Gracewood’s ‘sympathetic treatment of Elizabeth Knox’s complex novel, Dreamquake’.
The BPANZ Reviewer of the Year receives a $1,000 prize.
The overall winner of the BPANZ Best Review Page or Programme Award goes to the New Zealand Listener.
The judges said they were especially impressed by the New Zealand Listener for its regular eight pages of quality reviewing, always artfully arranged and carefully selected so as to establish a sense of, not just what issues are important in a rapidly evolving cultural landscape, but also to invite the reader’s involvement.
‘In the New Zealand Listener, books matter and are seen to matter.’
Special acknowledgment went to The Sunday Star-Times ‘for the calibre of its reviewers and for the stylish layout of the particular book pages submitted, calculated to draw the mainstream browser in.’