NZ writers defy trend says medal winner
Kiwi writers are producing more work than ever before, in defiance of dire warnings about the future of the book-publishing industry.
That is the message from literature researcher Lydia Wevers, who was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand medal last night for her career-long promotion of the study of literature, history and culture.
"In the world of New Zealand fiction writing, there's just a lot more of it than there used to be," said Wevers, a professor at Victoria University. "That's partly due to writing courses. Lots of people come and do MAs and PhDs and produce novels and other things. I think there's a much more energetic culture of writing."
Wevers said another boon for the writing scene was Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize win last year.
"Every time we win the Booker Prize - all two times we've won it - it really gives us an international profile and it means that people are more likely to have a crack at reading something from New Zealand. That's been fantastic."
Her fascination with literature is that it offers a rare glimpse into the inner minds of Kiwi societies, both now and in the past.
Her nomination alone, as well as the win, was a delight, she said. "I was sort of thrilled and gobsmacked."
- The Dominion Post