Tom Remiger’s Soldiers, the second winner of the 2019 Michael Gifkins Prize, will now be published on 1 September 2020. Remiger received a publishing contract with Text Publishing and a NZ$10,000 advance against royalties. Finished copies are now available for media and booksellers upon request. Remiger will be available for interviews around the date of publication.
Soldiers is about what happens to men who go to war. After Corporal Daniel Cousins dies during routine training in England, a young officer, Lieutenant Patrick Breen, becomes obsessed. Was it an accident, or was Cousins murdered by one of his own? Breen’s investigation, as well as his unanticipated love affair with a superior officer, threatens the unity of his comrades in the New Zealand Division as they wait for the suffering to come in the Battle for Crete—one of the defining conflicts of the Second World War. Soldiers tells a story of intense feeling and unforeseen experience in a strange and distant world.
The winner of the 2020 Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novelist will be announced alongside the publication of Soldiers in September, with the shortlist to be announced in late April.
The prize, which celebrates the life and work of the writer and agent Michael Gifkins, is open to published and unpublished authors, who are invited to enter manuscripts of adult fiction. Applications for the 2020 prize closed in October 2019.
On winning the prize, Remiger said that it was ‘a stunning validation that the sometimes doubt-plagued experience of writing a novel was an effort worth making. That my novel will make its way out into the world with the support of such excellent publishers and editors is both reassuring and profoundly exciting.’
The Gifkins Prize was first awarded to Ruby Porter for her debut novel, Attraction, which follows three women on a road trip navigating the North Island, their relationships with one another and New Zealand’s colonial past. Attraction was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards earlier this year.
The Gifkins Prize is made possible by a generous financial commitment from the Gifkins family and from Text Publishing. It is administered by the NZ Society of Authors te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa. It will run for a total of four years, with the final year being 2022. The opening date for the 2021 prize will be announced later this year.
For administration, reading copies and media enquiries please contact:
Sophie Mannix (Text Publishing): firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Nagle (New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ) Inc Te Puni Kaitahu Aotearoa):email@example.com