Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 28, 2021

2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlist

With thanks to Twitter, but no thanks to publicists who don’t provide the lists in text that is easily transferred to a blog post, here is the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Longlist.


Nothing to See by Pip Adam (Victoria University Press), see my review. This novel, BTW, is being published this year by Giramondo Publishing Australia, which will bring Pip Adam the exposure that Nothing to See deserves.  If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on a copy and at a reduced price, take out Giramondo’s new Prose Subscription, details here.

Bug Week by Airini Beautrais (Victoria University Press)

Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press), on my TBR, next in line on the bedside table, since before this announcement.

Sprigs by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson) (I’ve read and liked Brannavan’s fiction before, and featured him on Meet a Kiwi Author but *shrug* have not heard a word about this book until now.

Victory Park by Rachel Kerr (Mākaro Press)

The Swimmers by Chloe Lane (Victoria University Press), on my TBR

Fake Baby by Amy McDaid (Penguin, Penguin Random House)

2000ft Above Worry Level by Eamonn Marra (Victoria University Press)

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins), see Josie Shapiro’s review at Read Close

Toto Among the Murderers by Sally Morgan (JM Originals, John Murray, Hachette)

To see the rest of the longlists (because my patience for typing them all out from pictures of bookcovers is limited), see the Spinoff.  BTW the writers there, poetry editor Chris Tse and books editor Catherine Woulfe, note that the lists are very ‘white’. Compared to our awards nominations, which routinely feature a diversity of authors including Indigenous authors, the NZ lists certainly look rather monocultural, at least as far as I can tell from the Fiction List.

Thanks to the Spinoff, I can also tell you that the shortlist will be announced on 3rd March, and the winner will be announced on 13th May.


  1. Oooh, thanks for the tip off about the Giramondo subscription. That’s a great idea.


    • I’ve just got my first one: it’s essays by Fiona (Indelible Ink) McGregor. Dipping into it, one essay per day…


      • Yes, I’ve just seen that on the website. Seems remarkably good value… I would quite easily spend $135 on 5 or 6 books but this subscription gives you 12.


        • Ah, it’s good, but alas, it’s not that good. $135 for six books which are a mixture of NF and fiction. That works out at an average $22.50 per book, less than the cover price and it includes free postage.


          • Oh, I must have misread it… but still good value when you consider most books are $32.99!


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