Te Papa Press congratulates author Jill Trevelyan on top book award

27 August 2014

Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer, by Jill Trevelyan, last night won Book of the Year as well as the top award for non-fiction, in the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Described by the judges as ‘‘brilliant in every respect’’, “symphonic”, and “a supreme achievement that delivers on every front”, Trevelyan’s is the first ever biography of the charismatic, pioneering art dealer and his crucial, transformative role in twentieth century New Zealand art.

Trevelyan was “bowled over” by the book’s success and “humbled” to be in the company of all of her fellow nominees, but above all “delighted with the recognition it has brought Peter McLeavey and the exceptional artists he has shown over nearly fifty years.”

Te Papa Press publisher, Claire Murdoch, last night described Trevelyan as a biographer “at the very top of her game” whose leap of faith into professional writing mirrors her subject’s brave decision to start his gallery. “It is hard to describe the exceptional calibre of the company in which Jill’s book is standing and I congratulate all of the nominees and their publishers.” She also acknowledged New Zealand Post’s generous sponsorship of the Book Awards, the prestige it has brought to New Zealand publishing, and the opportunities it has given authors.

This follows hot on the heels of the book’s success at the 2014 PANZ Book Design Awards last month, where it won the Harper Collins Publishers Award for Best Cover. It is not the first successful collaboration between Te Papa Press and Jill Trevelyan. Her best-selling and much-loved biography Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life, also published by Te Papa Press, won two accolades at the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards: the biography category and New Zealand’s top prize for non-fiction, the Montana Medal.

Last night’s success at the New Zealand Post Book Awards reinforces the positive reception of Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer by the public, critics and reviewers. Te Papa’s Acting Chief Executive and Kaihautū, Arapata Hakiwai, says “This acknowledgement recognises the deep value and importance of non-fiction writing and research in New Zealand today, and the role of museums like Te Papa in telling stories of national significance through all of our channels and platforms.”

Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer by Jill Trevelyan is published by Te Papa Press, NZ RRP (incl. GST): $64.99, ISBN: 978-0-9876688-4-4.

Information on all Te Papa Press books can be found at tepapapress.co.nz.

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