Fulbright Scholar awarded the Adam Prize in Creative Writing
Novelist, keen fly fisherman and Fulbright student Joshua Greenberg has been awarded the 2003 Adam Prize in Creative
Writing for his novel The Game of Nods.
The $1000 prize will be announced and presented at the University at 5.30pm today (December 8) by Denis Adam of the Adam
Foundation, through the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation. The award is made annually to the best folio
presented by a student in Victoria University's Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing - part of the International
Institute of Modern Letters.
Professor Bill Manhire, Director of Victoria’s MA in Creative Writing, said that Mr Greenberg had written an astonishing
“Josh has one of the most inventive minds I have met in a fiction writer. His novel is full of energy and momentum,
crammed with characters who are larger-than-life but entirely credible. It’s wildly comic, yet also deeply serious in
its take on human behaviour and the natural world.”
The Game of Nods is set equally in small-town America, on a cargo ship, and in the New Zealand bush. The external
assessor, novelist Nigel Cox, found himself stumped for superlatives. “The extended ‘in the bush’ sequence is a major
triumph in a book that seems to consist entirely of triumphs,” he wrote in his report.
While he was attending Victoria’s MA workshop, Joshua Greenberg lived in the Wairarapa countryside and commuted to
class. He is a keen fly fisher, and has worked in the USA as a fly-fishing guide.
Bill Manhire said that he thought Joshua Greenberg would become a major contemporary novelist.
“Back in 19th Century America, Emerson wrote to the poet Walt Whitman, saying, ‘I greet you at the beginning of a great
career.’ I think we can say exactly the same to Josh.”
Earlier winners of the Adam Prize have gone on to highly successful writing careers including inaugural winner Catherine
Chidgey in 1998, who went on to win the $60,000 Prize in Modern Letters in March 2002. Last year’s winner, Cliff Fell,
recently published his collection of poetry, The Adulterer’s Bible, and recently joined Lord of the Rings star, Viggo
Mortensen, for a public poetry reading.
Bill Manhire has recently been awarded the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellowship and will spend six months of
next year in Menton, France. The 2004 MA in Creative Writing will be taken by Victoria University Graduate and acclaimed
Wellington novelist, Damien Wilkins.