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News  •  31 January 2024


Praised and popular books nominated for 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

See the Penguin Random House NZ books longlisted for the 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for books written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Bestselling and critically acclaimed works of fiction, illuminating poetry collections, absorbing memoirs, and books that explore our whenua, flora and fauna feature alongside those that celebrate our culinary and artistic heroes and heroines in the 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlists announced today. 


Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction


Fungi of Aotearoa: A Curious Forager's Field Guide by Liv Sisson 

Featuring stunning full-colour photographs, fun facts and current descriptions of over 130 species (including our brilliant blue national fungus, werewere kokako), Fungi of Aotearoa is packed full of information and advice that will delight armchair enthusiasts, backcountry explorers and budding experts alike.


Pacific Arts Aotearoa edited by Lana Lopesi 

Pacific Arts Aotearoa tells the dynamic and powerful story of Pacific arts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This comprehensive account spans six decades of multidisciplinary Pacific creative genius, remembering the diverse, fresh and energetic contributions of Pacific artists to New Zealand, Oceania and the world.



General Non-Fiction Award


Laughing at the Dark: A Memoir by Barbara Else 

‘My own first memory is the cupboard door, and laughing, erupting with laughter’ - a memoir about finding an identity, a voice and laughter.

From the best-selling and acclaimed author Barbara Else, Laughing at the Dark is a funny, moving memoir about how she rebelled against being a ‘good girl’.


There’s a Cure for This: A Memoir by Emma Espiner (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou) 

Encompassing whānau, love, death, ’90s action movies and scarfie drinking, There’s a cure for this is Espiner’s own story, from a childhood spent shuttling between a ‘purple lesbian state house and a series of man-alone rentals’ to navigating parenthood on her own terms; from the quietly perceived inequities of her early life to hard-won revelations as a Māori medical student and junior doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic.


For the full range of longlisted books visit the Ockham New Zealand Book Award website.

See the full longlist


The 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlist of 16 titles (four books in each category) will be announced on 6 March. The winners, including the four Mātātuhi Foundation Best First Book Awards recipients, will be announced at a public ceremony on 15 May during the 2024 Auckland Writers Festival. 

Featured Titles

Fungi of Aotearoa
The complete introduction to finding, identifying and using mushrooms and other fungi in New Zealand
Read more
Pacific Arts Aotearoa
The powerful and dynamic legacy of Pacific arts in Aotearoa, as told by the artists themselves.
Read more
Laughing at the Dark
‘My own first memory is the cupboard door, and laughing, erupting with laughter’ - a memoir about finding an identity, a voice and laughter.
Read more
There’s a Cure for This: A Memoir
The striking debut memoir from award-winning doctor and writer, Emma Espiner.
Read more

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