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Discover great books from the land Down Under

Discover great books from the land Down Under: the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards announcedOn July 23rd  the Australian Government’s Office for the Arts announced  the list of this year’s winners of the Prime Minsters Literary Awards in the six categories that this award is given.

The winner in the fiction category is Gillian Mears for her novel Foal’s Bread. This outstanding  narrative has already been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award this year. “This is what our judges had to say about Foal’s Bread:  In this strong field, it was the unanimous decision of the judges that the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction we recommend is Gillian Mears for Foal’s Bread. Written in transfixing prose and with an – at times – aching affinity for the harsh landscape the book describes, Foal’s Bread is an extraordinary work of remarkable strength and originality.” Read the first chapter here.

 
This year’s inaugural Award for Poetry has gone to Luke Davis for his collection Interferon Psalms.
 
“This is what our judges had to say about Interferon Psalms: The shortlist represented much of the best of Australian poetry, and though the shortlist reflected this, the judges believe that Luke Davies stood head and shoulders as the most significant and best collection, and recommend Interferon Psalms. Interferon Psalms encompasses not only the meditative intensities of the dark night of the soul but a tragicomic vision which is by turns dramatic, alarming and luminous in its formal expression.”
Read an extract here
 
 
In the non fiction category Australia celebrates two titles and two authors.
 
 
Mark McKenna and his biography of Manning Clark entitles An Eye for the Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark is a winner winner of the 2012 non-fiction award.   
 
“This is what our judges had to say about An Eye for Eternity: The decision to nominate Mark McKenna’s An Eye for Eternity the winner was unanimous. This wise, clear-eyed portrait of perhaps our most influential historian is essential reading for all Australians seeking to understand the transformation of Australian cultural nationalism in the second half of the twentieth century.”
Read first chapter here
 
 
 
The second non fiction award is given for the best book on Australian History and this year winner is Bill Gammage for The Biggest Estate on Earth

“This is what our judges had to say about The Biggest Estate on Earth: In a unanimous decision the judges selected as the winner Bill Gammage’s The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia. Gammage’s compelling central insight is that the landscape of 1788 was not natural but rather that it was made by Aboriginal people. The author again demonstrates a rare capacity to open a fresh horizon, capturing both history and his reader.”

Read first chapter here
 
 
There are also two awards that recognize excellence in writing for younger audiences
 
Robert Newton is the winner of  the 2012 young adult fiction award for When We Were Two 

“This is what our judges had to say about When We Were Two:  The panel unanimously recommends When We Were Two as the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. The looming shadow of war is ever present and the book speaks of the innocence, naivety and hope of a generation of young men and boys who marched towards it. Yet the strength of the story lies in the unconditional love between the two brothers, and in their spirit and courage which are destined to survive the slaughter to come. When We Were Two deserves to become a classic.”

Read an extract here
 
 
Frances Watts and Judy Watson are winners of the 2012 children’s fiction award for Goodnight, Mice! 
“This is what our judges had to say about Goodnight, Mice!: The judges are unanimous in their decision that the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Fiction should be Goodnight, Mice! by Frances Watts and illustrated by Judy Watson. The collaboration of writer and illustrator in this case makes for an almost perfect bedtime book. Watts’s words sing with rhyme and repetition, making them excellent linguistic tools for small children, while Watson’s impish, affectionate illustrations speak to families from every type of background.”
 
Discover some great books from the land Down Under!