07 Mar 2017
Creative New Zealand congratulates Wellington-based author Ashleigh Young on receiving the Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction writing in 2017.
The judges described Young’s collection of twenty-one personal essays Can You Tolerate This? as “honest, insightful prose [that] offers intimate and playful glimpses of coming of age in small-town New Zealand.
“Young is relentless in her examination of herself and endlessly curious and compassionate in her consideration of the world.”
The collection of essays details Young’s experiences of growing up in small town Te Kūiti.
The award includes a cash prize of $160,000USD ($230,000NZD) as well as the opportunity for Ms Young to attend an award ceremony at Yale University in the United States.
Can You Tolerate This? has also been named a finalist for the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction at this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Ms Young graduated from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University and won the Adam Foundation Prize for Excellence in 2009. She currently works as an editor and teaches writing at Victoria University.
Ms Young has so far authored two books: Can You Tolerate This? (2016) and Magnificent Moon (2012), a poetry collection.