Two kiwi novelists making big waves on the international scene have been made Honorary Literary Fellows in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ annual Waitangi Day Honours.
“As the country’s largest writers’ organisation, we believe it’s important to celebrate significant literary achievements, especially on the international stage,” said NZSA President, Kyle Mewburn.
This year’s recipients are Paul Cleave, and Anna Smaill.
“Paul Cleave has well and truly cemented his reputation as one of the world’s finest thriller writers with a string of international short-listings and a Ngaio Marsh award in 2015 for his latest thriller Five Minutes Alone,” said Mewburn. “While Anna Smaill‘s stunning debut novel, The Chimes, not only made the Booker longlist, but has also been heralded as perhaps ‘the most distinctive debut of the decade’.”
“It’s a real honour to be recognised in this way by the NZSA,” said Smaill.” It’s an organisation that works tirelessly to advocate for New Zealand writing and that fully grasps and supports the human challenges as well as the deeply practical requirements of this job.”
When notified of the honour, Cleave responded: “Wow, this is really cool! Way better being honoured in New Zealand than being reviewed! You can really see New Zealand crime fiction gaining traction in our own country, and with all the up and coming authors starting to hit the market, the best is still yet to come. It’s an exciting time for them, and it’s an important time for New Zealander readers to start exploring the talent this country has to offer.”
“The Waitangi Day Honours are the only literary awards bestowed by peers,” said Mewburn. “In a year when writers were almost completely overlooked in official honour lists, they are particularly significant.”
Previous honourees include Owen Marshall, Eleanor Catton and Anthony McCarten.