Category: News

Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner 2020

We were overjoyed to hear the news that Australia’s most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin, has been awarded to Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch for The Yield, published by Penguin Random House Australia. This is a powerful book that is much loved by our staff and tells an important story of Australian history.

For the first time in the Award’s history, trustee Perpetual announced the winner via a LIVE YouTube presentation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chosen from a shortlist showcasing a powerhouse of experienced Australian literary talent, The Yield weaves together three stories to reveal how Indigenous history carries forward pain and sorrow yet allows compassion, resilience, dignity, humour and humanity to flourish.

On winning the award, Ms Winch said, “I’m honoured to be among brilliant colleagues on the longlist and shortlist, our power is in the many stories and not only the one. The historical presence of both Tony Birch and myself on the shortlist signals to the publishing industry that we can write our own stories, and that we don’t want to be spoken for. I hope this event also encourages the next generation of Indigenous voices, to know there is a space here for you in the industry, and in the minds and hearts of a new era of readers. We need to hear voices from across the nation to truly immerse ourselves in the song of Australia.”

Man Booker Prize Longlist 2020

The Man Booker Prize longlist has been announced! It is a wonderful and diverse list with many new books that we are still waiting to have in stock. There are a few that we can already recommend including staff favourite Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and we’re excited to sink our teeth into the other twelve books.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.

Margaret Busby, Chair of the 2020 judges, says:

“Each of these books carries an impact that has earned it a place on the longlist, deserving of wide readership. Included are novels carried by the sweep of history with memorable characters brought to life and given visibility, novels that represent a moment of cultural change, or the pressures an individual faces in pre- and post-dystopian society. Some of the books focus on interpersonal relationships that are complex, nuanced, emotionally charged. There are voices from minorities often unheard, stories that are fresh, bold and absorbing. The best fiction enables the reader to relate to other people’s lives; sharing experiences that we could not ourselves have imagined is as powerful as being able to identify with characters”.

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award Winner 2020

The $20,000 Vogel’s Literary Award for 2020 has been won by Kate Kruimink’s novel A Treacherous Country 

The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is a prize for an unpublished manuscript written by a writer under the age of thirty-five. Along with a publication contract with Allen & Unwin, the winning author receives $20,000 in prize money and an advance against royalties. Kruimink’s manuscript was chosen from a shortlist of four, which included Emily Brugman (The Islands), Belinda Lopez (Tete) and Maree Spratt (The Followers).

As with last week’s Stella Prize announcement, the winner was revealed in a live webcast on Monday evening, presented by Australian musician and memoirist Clare Bowditch. This is the first time the prize has been awarded since 2018, with Allen & Unwin choosing not to name a winner in 2019, citing a lack of quality in the prize submissions.Not so this year – the judges had nothing but glowing praise for Kruimink and A Treacherous Country, with judge Tegan Bennett Daylight calling it ‘Witty, warm and lively.’

Stella Prize Winner 2020

We’re excited to announce that Jess Hill’s four-year investigation into domestic abuse, See What You Made Me Do, is the 2020 Stella Prize winner. Now in its eighth year, the Stella Prize awards one author with a $50,000 prize. This buys a writer some measure of financial independence and thus time – that most undervalued yet necessary commodity for women – to focus on their writing.

Domestic abuse is a national emergency: one in four Australian women has experienced violence from a man she was intimate with. But too often we ask the wrong question: why didn’t she leave? We should be asking: why did he do it?Investigative journalist Jess Hill puts perpetrators — and the systems that enable them — in the spotlight. See What You Made Me Do is a deep dive into the abuse so many women and children experience — abuse that is often reinforced by the justice system they trust to protect them. Critically, it shows that we can drastically reduce domestic violence — not in generations to come, but today.Combining forensic research with riveting storytelling, See What You Made Me Do radically rethinks how to confront the national crisis of fear and abuse in our homes.

Indie Book Award Winners 2020

Book of the Year and Winner of Fiction
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett

Favel Parrett’s deep emotional insight and stellar literary talent shine through in this love letter to the strong women who bind families together, despite dislocation and distance. It is a tender and beautifully told story of memory, family and love. Because there is still love. No matter what.         

Indie Book of the Year Non-Fiction 
Tell Me Why by Archie Roach

In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music. 

Indie Book of the Year Debut Fiction
Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel

Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different. And then there’s Rick who lives in a flat out the back and finds distraction in gambling and solace in surfing. Allegra is left to orbit these three worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more. Until one day the unspoken tragedy that’s created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.

Indie Book of the Year Illustrated Non-Fiction
The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes

This extraordinary book captures the incredible and previously untold stories of forty Anzac boys who fought in the First World War, from Gallipoli to the Armistice. Featuring haunting images of the boys taken at training camps and behind the lines, these tales are both heartbreaking and rousing, full of daring, ingenuity, recklessness, random horror and capricious luck.

Indie Book of the Year Children’s
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly

With more than sixty ugly animals to explore, this compendium of the unusual celebrates the beauty in ‘ugliness’. Children and adults alike will pore over the breathtaking scientific illustrations of unusual animals, debating their relative ugliness and merits, learning about science and nature along the way.

Indie Book of the Year Young Adult
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen. But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse.