Lots of Literary Prizes recently

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Well, they’re like buses aren’t they? Literary prizes I mean. We’ve had a few months respite then a flurry of prizes: the National Biography Prize and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and today the winner of the Man Booker International Prize was announced at the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
Lovesong by Alex Miller (Anyone read this? I think it’s on the list with my other book group so I may be able to report back on it before the end of the year.)
Shortlisted : Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier In America, Stephen Daisley – Traitor, Lisa Lang – Utopian Man, Kristel Thornell – Night Street, Ouyang Yu – The English Class

Book of the Year and the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons
Shortlisted : Anna Krien – Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests, Tony Moore – Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788-1868, Ranjana Srivastava – Tell Me The Truth: Conversations With My Patients About Life And Death, Maria Tumarkin – Otherland, Brenda Walker – Reading By Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
Pirate Rain by Jennifer Maiden
Shortlisted : Susan Bradley Smith – Super Modern Prayer Book, Andy Jackson – Among the Regulars, Jill Jones – Dark Bright Doors, Anna Kerdijk Nicholson – Possession, Andy Kissane – Out to Lunch

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Shortlisted : Michelle Cooper – The FitzOsbornes in Exile. The Montmaray Journals: 2, Kirsty Eagar – Saltwater Vampires, Belinda Jeffrey – Big River, Little Fish, Melina Marchetta – The Piper’s Son, Jaclyn Moriarty – Dreaming of Amelia

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature
My Australian Story: The Hunt for Ned Kelly
by Sophie Masson, Shortlisted : Jeannie Baker – Mirror, Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood – Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House, Cassandra Golds – The Three Loves of Persimmon, John Heffernan – Where There’s Smoke, Emma Quay – Shrieking Violet

Script Writing Award
Offspring by Debra Oswald
Shortlisted : Shirley Barrett – South Solitary, Glen Dolman – Hawke, Michael Miller – EAST WEST 101, SEASON 3: The Hero’s Standard, John Misto – Sisters of War, Samantha Strauss – Dance Academy. Episode 13: Family

Play Award
Do Not Go Gentle… by Patricia Cornelius
Shortlisted : Jonathan Gavin – Bang, Jane Montgomery Griffiths – Sappho…In 9 Fragments, Melissa Reeves – Furious Mattress, Sue Smith – Strange Attractor, Anthony Weigh – Like a Fishbone

NSW Premier’s Translation Prize & PEN Medallion
Ian Johnston

Community Relations Commission Award
The English Class by Ouyang Yu
Shortlisted : Ali Alizadeh – Iran: My Grandfather, Anh Do – The Happiest Refugee, Maria Tumarkin – Otherland, Yuol Yuol, Akoi Majak, Monica Kuol… – My Name is Sud

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing
Traitor by Stephen Daisley
Shortlisted : Ashley Hay – The Body in the Clouds, Lisa Lang – Utopian Man, David Musgrave – Glissando: A Melodrama, Kristel Thornell – Night Street, Gretchen Shirm – Having Cried Wolf

Special Award
Libby Gleeson

People’s Choice Award
Lovesong by Alex Miller

The National Biography Award

The National Biography Award is administered and presented by the State Library of NSW and, with a $20,000 is Australia’s richest prize for biographical writing and memoir.
Yesterday Grand Obsessions: The Life and Work of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin by Alasdair McGregor was announced as this year’s winner at the State Library of NSW.

The judges said Grand Obsessionsis ‘marvelously written and produced’, in which Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin emerge as ‘staunch, idealistic, [and] not always widely respected’.Acting NSW state librarian and chief executive Noelle Nelson said McGregor’s work stood out ‘in a notable year for Australian biography and memoir. ‘Grand Obsessions is as much a book about architecture as it is about two extraordinary talented people in our history.’Grand Obsessions was one of six titles shortlisted from an initial 58 entries. You can read about the shortlisted titles here.

The Man Booker International Prize

The Man Booker International Prize has been awarded since 2005 on a bi-annual basis to one writer for his or her achievement in fiction. Past winners are Ismail Kadaré in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Alice Munro in 2009.

Philip Roth is the 2011 winner. While he was unable to attend the Sydney Writer’s Festival due to ill health he was able to speak to the audience via a video link, saying said it was a great honour and a delight to receive the prize. See what the Library has by Philip Roth here.


Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy’s Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000). His most recent book is Nemesis (2010.),

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