The Listener, Denis Welch. “It never pays to be too confident in these matters – Montana judges have a way of raising literary eyebrows with their choices – but probably no one was too surprised that the major non-fiction award went to The Art of Grahame Sydney, the magnificent book from Dunedin’s Longacre Press.
Sydney had to make three trips to the microphone, in fact, because his book also won its specific category (illustrative arts) and the Reader’s Choice Award as the result of all those coupons sent in by you folk out there in book-loving land.
‘It was very embarrassing to me, I must say,’ says Sydney, who was accompanied by Longacre managing editor Barbara Larsen when he took the stage for the third time. ‘I’m just the public front for what was a very co-operative venture. The determination to go ahead was very much Barbara’s; then the whole shape and feel of the published book was very much down to Jenny Cooper, the designer; and every decision had to be backed up by the management. I got very lucky on this, that Barbara and partners decided to go with it.’
To hear Sydney talk, you’d think his paintings were the least part of the book; but he persistently attributes its success to the stunning production quality.”