NSW Premier’s Literary Award shortlist

You wait for one awards shortlist, and they all come along at once. Following yesterday’s Bailey’s Prize shortlist announcement featuring Audrey McGee’s The Undertaking and the CBCA shortlists, we were also delighted to have six books shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards!

The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction

We’re absolutely thrilled to find we’ve got three of the six books up for this prize, with our two 2014 Miles Franklin longlisters – Ashley Hay’s The Railwayman’s Wife and Trevor Shearston’s Game joined by last year’s Miles Franklin and Prime Minister’s Literary Award winner, Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel. These three are joined by The Secret Lives of Men by Georgia Blain, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan and The Swan Book by Alexis Wright. Here’s some of the highlights of the judge’s comments:

You can read extracts of these three books here, and vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice award. It is great to see that Questions of Travel is also nominated for the Award for a Multicultural NSW, which is awarded to works which have ‘made a significant contribution to Australian literature in its portrayal of the interaction of Australia’s diverse cultures, and canvassed issues arising from the Australian immigration and migrant settlement experience’ – something very much at the heart of Michelle’s novel.

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature

On the Children’s shortlist we are delighted to see the Indigenous title by Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton Jandamarra recognised again, along with Catherine Jinks’ A Very Unusual Pursuit. Both these titles are also on the CBCA awards shortlist, so a good week for Catherine, Mark and Terry! Judges comments below:

My Life As An Alphabet
“My Life as an Alphabet is a deceptively sophisticated novel. Despite themes of loss, grief and alienation, this is an uplifting book told through the eyes of Candice Phee, a quirky, charming but brutally honest young girl who happily accepts her difference and expects everyone around her to do the same. Jonsberg frames the narrative with Candice telling her life story in chapters, each chapter beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. It is Candice’s voice that shines through in this novel, a voice that is naively funny, sincere but deliberately obtuse, yet a voice that is perfectly believable. My Life as an Alphabet is a book that spreads hope and happiness.”

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

Already a multiple award winner, of particular note the Gold Inky Award (voted for by young readers) as well as the 2013 Children’s Peace Literature Awards and 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, it is delightful to see Barry Jonsberg’s My Life As an Alphabet continues to pick up accolades!

It is another shortlisted for the CBCA awards, interestingly in the younger readers category alongside the two books mentioned above!

And while all this is happening for Barry, the rave reader reviews are already starting to flow in for his next book Pandora Jones: Admission, which comes out next month – check out the chilling trailer.

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