In a year of outstanding achievement by Australian writers, today the Government announces the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists.
These awards recognise the role Australian writers play in enlightening and entertaining us, reflecting on our history and taking our stories to the world.
Australia’s writers are ambassadors for our stories and our cultural life and experience.
The 2014 shortlists feature some of Australia’s most significant and recognised writers, as well as gifted debut authors across all six award categories: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult fiction and children’s fiction.
The shortlists span many genres, styles and subjects, reflecting on contemporary Australian life, significant moments in Australian and world history as well as gripping readers with fictional stories that captivate young and old readers alike.
These thirty books have become part of the contemporary Australian literary canon.
A number of the shortlisted books reflect on World War One and the Anzac story – the crucible in which the Australian identity was forged. These works are essential resources to remembering the tide of events that shaped our nation and that still cast a shadow over the wider world.
The 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists are:
A World of Other People, Steven Carroll (Harper Collins)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane (Penguin: Hamish Hamilton)
Coal Creek, Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
Belomor, Nicolas Rothwell (Text Publishing)
Tempo, Sarah Day (Puncher & Wattmann Poetry)
Eldershaw, Stephen Edgar (Black Pepper)
1953, Geoff Page (University of Queensland Press)
Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call, Melinda Smith (Pitt Street Poetry)
Chains of Snow, Jakob Ziguras (Pitt Street Poetry)
Moving Among Strangers, Gabrielle Carey (University of Queensland Press)
The Lucky Culture, Nick Cater (Harper Collins Publishers)
Citizen Emperor, Philip Dwyer (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Rendezvous with Destiny, Michael Fullilove (Penguin)
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John, Helen Trinca (Text Publishing)
Prize for Australian History
Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)
First Victory 1914, Mike Carlton (Random House)
Australia’s Secret War: How unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II, Hal G.P. Colebatch (Quadrant Books)
Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy, Michael Pembroke (Hardie Grant Books)
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Clare Wright (Text Publishing)
Young Adult Fiction
The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo)
Pureheart, Cassandra Golds (Penguin)
Girl Defective, Simmone Howell (Pan Macmillan)
Life in Outer Space, Melissa Keil (Hardie Grant Egmont)
The First Third, Will Kostakis (Penguin)
Silver Buttons, Bob Graham (Walker Books )
Song for a Scarlet Runner, Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin)
My Life as an Alphabet, Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin)
Kissed by the Moon, Alison Lester (Puffin)
Rules of Summer, Shaun Tan (Hachette)
Established in 2008, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are Australia’s richest literary prize with a total prize pool of $600,000 to winners and shortlisted authors across the six categories.
These awards are testament to the strength and talent of Australia’s writers.
Winners will be announced before the end of the year.