NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2013 Shortlist

Posted on April 16, 2013. Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Another shortlist, this time for something close to home; the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2013. There are several categories of prizes to be awarded. The winners will be announced on 19 may during the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction – prize money worth $40,000

From the shortlist above, you can have your say in the People’s Choice Awardclick here to vote

Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction ($40,000 prize money)

Keith Slessor Prize for Poetry ($30,00 prize money)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000 prize money)

There is also a $20,000 Community Relations Commission Award, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the NSW Premier’s Translation Prize.

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Man Booker Prize 2012 shortlist

Posted on September 12, 2012. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , |

The six books that made it into the Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2012 were announced in the UK overnight.

And they are :

Chair of the judges, Peter Stothard, commented : “After re-reading an extraordinary longlist of twelve, it was the pure power of prose that settled most debates. We loved the shock of language shown in so many different ways and were exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose.”

The other judges are Dinah Birch, Amanda Foreman, Dan Stevens and Bharat Tandon.

The winner of the prize will be announced on Tuesday 16 October 2012.

My choice is Bring Up the Bodies, the much anticipated sequel to the magnificent Wolf Hall which won Hilary Mantel the Man Booker prize in 2009. If we were going by cover picture only, I’d be behind The Lighthouse though! Or Narcopolis!

You can read about the longlisted books here.

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Man Booker Prize winner announced

Posted on October 19, 2011. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , |

Three times shortlisted author Julian Barnes is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 for his novel, The Sense of an Ending. The Sense of an Ending is his first novel since 2005.

His previously shortlisted novels are Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert’s Parrot(1984).

Barnes has won several other prestigious prizes; he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over), he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004 and earlier this year he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011 for his lifetime achievement in literature.

Dame Stella Rimington, Chair of the 2011 judges, made the announcement at the awards dinner at London’s Guildhall. Julian Barnes was presented with a cheque for £50,000. Dame Stella Rimington commented, ‘Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading.’ [Man Booker website]

The Sense of an Ending

The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes’s new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world’s most distinguished writers.

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian’s life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.

Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths? [Fantastic Fiction]

You can read about the Man Booker shortlisted novels here.

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Fairfield Library win in NSW Premier’s History Awards

Posted on September 7, 2011. Filed under: Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , |

Cabrogal to Fairfield City; a history of a multicultural community won the NSW Community and Regional History category in the NSW Premier’s History Awards last night at the presentation dinner which also marked the beginning of History Week.

The judges said Cabrogal to Fairfield City is “a magisterial history…. a study of the contribution and perceptions of all the people of Fairfield. The author Stephen Gapps gives due weight to the Aboriginal people, both before and alongside the newcomers of the last 200 years.” 

The Fairfield Library Service used Local Special Project grant funding over 3 years from the Library Council of NSW to employ the author and publish the book.  Library staff supported the author by assisting with research, proof reading and editing.

Congratulations Fairfield Library Service.

Other winners were Savage or Civilised? : Manners in Colonial Australia by Penny Russell which won the Australian History Prize; the General History category was won by Playing with Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars by Shane White, Stephen Garton, Stephen Robertson and Graham White;  the Young People’s History Prize was awarded to India Dark by Kirsty Murray and the Multimedia History Prize was awarded to Recipe for Murder , a film by Sonia Bible.

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Posted on September 7, 2011. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , |


Hot off the press from the UK – the six shortlisted novels for the 2011 Man Booker Prize are :

Julian Barnes : The Sense of an Ending

Carol Birch : Jamrach’s Menagerie

Patrick DeWitt : The Sisters Brothers

Esi Edugyan : Half Blood Blues

Stephen Kelman : Pigeon English

AD Miller : Snowdrops (my current read, very suspenseful)

Initially touted as a potential winner, Alan Hollinghurst is not on the list leaving the way open for bookies favorite Julian Barnes to perhaps be awarded the prize when it is announced on Tuesday 18th October. Oh the suspense!

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Man Booker Longlist

Posted on July 27, 2011. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , |

The thirteen books on the Man Booker Prize 2011 longlist were announced last night.

The longlisted titles were chosen by a panel of five judges chaired by author and former Director-General of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington from a whopping 138 books.

The so-called ‘Man Booker Dozen’ include : one former Man Booker Prize winner (Alan Hollinghurst, in 2004); three previously shortlisted writers (Alan Hollinghurst, Sebastian Barry and Julian Barnes); one longlisted author (Carol Birch); two poets (Alison Pick and Patrick McGuiness); four first time novelists (Stephen Kelman, A.D. Miller, Yvvette Edwards and Patrick McGuinness) and three Canadian writers (Alison Pick, Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan).

  • Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending
  • Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side
  • Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie
  • Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers
  • Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues
  • Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats
  • Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child
  • Stephen Kelman Pigeon English
  • Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days
  • A.D. Miller Snowdrops
  • Alison Pick Far to Go
  • Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb
  • D.J. Taylor Derby Day

The Guardian online has a beautiful “Man Booker Longlist in Pictures” post with the cover art and a short precis of each book and a link to a review of that book.

The shortlist of six will be announced on Tuesday 6 September and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 18 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall.

The Man Booker Prize is worth £50,000 to the winner and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their book.

As well as Dame Stella Rimington as the Chair, writer and journalist, Matthew d’Ancona; author, Susan Hill; author and politician, Chris Mullin and Head of Books at the Daily Telegraph, Gaby Wood are on the judging panel.

Hollinghurst and Barnes are the front-runners at this early stage but going on the covers I’m going to back Derby Day, The Last Hundred Days and The Sisters Brothers. I’d have to back The Sisters Brothers for the title too.

What do you think?

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