Key Points:

Two deceased authors are finalists in the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book awards.

Janet Frame, who died in 2004, and Nigel Cox, who died last year, were among the 26 finalists announced today.

Frame's The Goose Bath, published posthumously, was one of the finalists in the Poetry category while Cox's The Cowboy Dog was a Fiction finalist.

More than 220 books were submitted to the awards this year.

Judges' convenor Dr Paul Millar said the finalists in the non-fiction category were particularly strong.

"Many of these books are publications of great beauty and significance that focus in original ways on New Zealand's uniqueness and diversity."

The awards are divided into eight categories, which each have a top prize of $5000.

The winner of the poetry category will be announced July 27, Montana Poetry Day, and the others on July 30.

Nine authors were also nominated in the fiction, poetry and non fiction categories of New Zealand Society of Authors best first book awards, which have a $2500 prize for each.

Finalists:
Fiction

The Cowboy Dog by Nigel Cox (Victoria University Press)

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Penguin New Zealand)

My Name Was Judas by C K Stead (Random House)

Ocean Roads by James George (Huia Publishers)

The Fainter by Damien Wilkins (Victoria University Press)

Poetry

One Shapely Thing: Poems and Journals by Dinah Hawken (Victoria University Press)

The Goose Bath by Janet Frame (Random House)

The Year of the Bicycle by James Brown (Victoria University Press)

Biography

A Life of J C Beaglehole, New Zealand scholar by Tim Beaglehole (Victoria University Press)

Brief Lives by Chris Price (Auckland University Press)

Douglas Lilburn: his life and music by Philip Norman (Canterbury University Press)

History

Chiefs of Industry by Hazel Petrie (Auckland University Press)

Luca Antara: passages in search of Australia by Martin Edmond (East Street Publications)

Vaka Moana - voyages of the ancestors edited by Kerry Howe (David Bateman Ltd)

Environment

Extinct Birds of New Zealand by Alan Tennyson and Paul Martinson (Te Papa Press)

Ghosts of Gondwana by George Gibbs (Craig Potton Press)

New Zealand: A natural world revealed by Tui de Roy and Mark Jones (David Bateman Ltd)

Illustrative

Eagle's Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand by Audrey Eagle (Te Papa Press)

Julia Morison: A loop around a loop by Justin Paton with essays by Jennifer Hay and Anna Smith (Christchurch Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery)

Lake of Coal: The disappearance of a mining township by David Cook (Craig Potton Publishing and Ramp Press)

Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture

CrownLynn - A New Zealand icon by Valerie Ringer Monk (Penguin New Zealand)

Kahui Whetu: Contemporary Maori Art - a carver's perspective by Roi Toia and Todd Couper (Reed Books)

Stitch: Contemporary New Zealand Textile Artists by Ann Packer (Random House) Reference and Anthology

An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes by Michael Bayly and Alison Kellow (Te Papa Press)

Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era: an illustrated history 1830-1900 by William Cottrell (Reed Books)

Tirohia Kimihia by Huia Publishers (Ministry of Education)

The New Zealand Society of Authors Best First Book Awards

Fiction

Davey Darling by Paul Shannon (Penguin New Zealand)

Overdue New Releases by Matt Johnson (Longacre Press)

The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King (Random House)

Poetry
After the Dance by Michele Amas (Victoria University Press)

Cup by Alison Wong (Steele Roberts)

Secret Heart by Arini Beautrais (Victoria University Press)

Non fiction

An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes by Michael Bayly and Alison Kellow (Te Papa Press)

Douglas Lilburn: his life and music by Philip Norman (Canterbury University Press)

Furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era: an illustrated history 1830- 1900 by William Cottrell (Reed Books)

- NZPA