Creative Kōrero, Literature, Media

Kiwi Writer Makes International Waves with Prestigious Literary Wins

In a New Zealand first, Tauranga author Lee Murray won two prestigious Bram Stoker Awards® at an awards event hosted by the Horror Writers Association over the weekend.

Named for the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the international Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in dark fiction.

Murray’s book Grotesque: Monster Stories, which Sublime Horror calls a “compelling collection of diverse, thought-provoking worlds” won the fiction collection category. Murray took her second award of the night for her work on Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women an anthology of Southeast Asian horror tales co-edited with her Australian colleague, author Geneve Flynn.

Space and Time magazine says Black Cranes ‘resonates with bold originality throughout’ and Nightmare Feed calls it ‘an instant classic’. Murray, who has reached the finals three times before, admits to being overwhelmed by the double honour, stating she hopes it will mark a new era in Kiwi horror fiction.

“We have so much undiscovered literary talent here,” she says, “and our authors offer a unique perspective.”

HWA president, John Palisano, said, “This year’s winners reflect a deep range of works from a competitive field.”

Other category winners include Bird Box author, Josh Malerman, and Stephen Graham Jones, author of Only Good Indians. Previous winners of the Bram Stoker Awards® include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman.

This year, due to the pandemic, the awards were presented at a virtual literary event which included attendees from seventeen countries.

Image: Lee Murray at the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® held 11 May at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, USA. Photo credit: Ellen Datlow

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