Date: 23rd May 2019
SMC Old Girl Chessie Henry has won the coveted Ockham New Zealand Book Award for best first book in the general non-fiction category for her book We Can Make a Life.
Chessie’s book is based around an interview with her father, Chris Henry, a Kaikōura GP who was caught up in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. He is one of three Canterbury medical professionals honoured with bravery medals for their efforts at the CTV building, where 115 people died.
Attending the Auckland Writers Festival where she was announced among the winners. Chessie describes her win as totally unexpected.
“It seemed even more ridiculous when I was up there with all those amazing writers. It was really surreal and of course, I was very stoked with the award.
“It was definitely the right outcome for me as the new kid on the block. It’s been really motivating, meeting people who are so committed to their writing, the whole experience made me so want to do it.”
We Can Make a Life: A Memoir of Family, Earthquakes and Courage was published on August 9, 2018, and launched at WORD Christchurch on August 31. It is currently in its third print run.
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