Landfall Prize win by Andrew Dean – The New Man

Andrew Dean has just been announced as the Landfall Prize winner for 2021. 

In 1997 Landfall celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, then editor Chris Price launched the Landfall Essay Competition, sponsored by Otago University Press. From 2009, the competition has been an annual award. (see 2022 details here)

The purpose of this prize, presented by Otago University Press, is to encourage New Zealand writers to think aloud about New Zealand culture, and to revive and sustain the tradition of vivid, contentious and creative essay writing in this country – …The prize for the 4000w essay includes $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall.

Competition judge Emma Neale says:

“The New Man” is a reminder of the complexity of political, social and religious pressures that many immigrants and refugees have carried with them to Aotearoa throughout modern history. As he traces his grandparents’ background, Dean looks into the shamefully long record of anti-Semitism that has driven families into nomadic exile across the globe.

The full judge’s report and Andrew’s winning essay can be found in Landfall 242. Below, Andrew summarises some thoughts on what it means to tell his version of his family’s history (check full script here).

Since I heard the news about the prize, I have been thinking more about what it means for me to tell a story about Jewish life in New Zealand and Britain. Charles Brasch, the first editor of Landfall, refused to Anglicize his name by dropping the ‘c’ – even if his father did. For whatever reason, it feels right at the moment to recall a Jewish presence here in New Zealand, in Christchurch.