Double Dublin nomination for Catherine Chidgey

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Two books by New Zealand author Catherine Chidgey have been nominated for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award – the world’s most valuable annual prize for a work of fiction published in English.

She is nominated for The Axeman’s Carnival, which won the 2023 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and Pet, published in June 2023.  Both novels are published by Te Herenga Waka University Press.

With the double nomination, Chidgey is a strong contender for the prize which carries a value of $176,921 (€100,000). Her novels are up against 68 other works from 35 countries, including fellow New Zealander Eleanor Catton’s novel Birnam Wood, also published by Te Herenga Waka University Press. 

Chidgey says she is overwhelmed by the double nomination.

“I’m thrilled to be longlisted alongside so many wonderful writers – there are some heavy hitters on the list. It’s brilliant timing in terms of bringing attention to both books overseas. I’m very grateful to the nominating libraries.”

Te Herenga Waka University Press’s publisher Fergus Barrowman says it’s so pleasing to see Catherine taking her rightful place on the world stage.

“Catherine’s novels have long been bought and enjoyed by readers here and around the world, but the international publication of Pet has brought unprecedented commercial and critical success.”

Both books have been in the New Zealand top 10 bestseller list since they were published. 

Pictured: The Axeman’s Carnival and Pet by Catherine Chidgey and Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton all nominated for the Dublin Literary Award.

Internationally, Pet was voted one of the best books of 2023 by Slate, the Toronto Star, CrimeReads (US) and Good Housekeeping (UK). It has received wide acclaim, including the New York Times hailing it as: “A landmark in the small but potent canon of contemporary novels about unusual girls reckoning with themselves and the world around them.”

The Axeman’s Carnival will be published in the UK and Australia in April 2024 and August 2024 in the US.

Chidgey’s 2020 novel Remote Sympathy was shortlisted for the 2022 Dublin Literary Award.  

She is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Waikato and won the University’s Research Prize as well as the Vice Chancellor’s Medal for her writing in the Staff Excellence Awards in late 2023. 

 The winner of the Dublin Literary Award will be announced on May 23 GMT.