Everyone at Bookworld would like to offer a HUGE congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards!
A World of Other People by Steven Carroll
Cinematic, intense and unflinching, A WORLD OF OTHER PEOPLE is a supremely life-affirming evocation of love in war time, when every decision, and every day, matters . A World of Other People is a life-affirming evocation of love in war time, when every decision, and every day, matters. Set in 1941 during the Blitz, Steven Carroll’s cinematic new novel traces the love affair of Jim, an Australian pilot in Bomber Command, and Iris, a forthright young Londoner, finding her voice as a writer. Haunted by secrets and malign coincidence, the couple struggles to build a future free of society’s thin-lipped disapproval. Iris shares rooftop firewatching duties with the poet TS Eliot, who unwittingly seals their fate with his famous verse ‘Little Gidding’. Miles Franklin Award-winning author Steven Carroll has produced a delicate yet unflinching piece of historical fiction that captures quiet romance in the midst of great unrest. Buy Here.
The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan
AC Grayling, the chair of the prestigious literary prize said The Narrow Road to the Deep North was ‘profound and often harrowing’ and that it is an ‘extremely powerful book’.
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost. Buy Here.
Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call by Melinda Smith
Moving Among Strangers by Gabrille Carey
Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile. Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s west Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her mother, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it. Moving Among Strangers is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers. Buy Here.
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca
At the age of fifteen Madeleine saw herself as a painter and pianist, but Ms Medway peered down at Madeleine during her entrance interview in 1957 and announced: ‘You know dear, I think you might write.’ Madeleine would write. But not for some time. The Women in Black, a sparkling gem that belied the difficulties that had dogged her own life, was published when Madeleine St John was in her fifties. Her third novel, The Essence of the Thing, was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize, and she continued to write until her death in 2006. Helen Trinca has captured the troubled life of Madeleine St John in this moving account of a remarkable writer. After the death of her mother when Madeleine was just twelve, she struggled to find her place in the world. Estranging herself from her family, and from Australia, she lived for a time in the US before moving to London where Robert Hughes, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford, Barry Humphries and Clive James were making their mark. In 1993, when The Women in Black was published, it became clear what a marvellous writer Madeleine St John was. Buy Here.
Prize for Australian History
Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War by Joan Beaumont
The Great War was, for the majority of Australians, one that was fought at home. As casualties of this monstrous war mounted, they triggered a political crisis of unprecedented ferocity in Australian history. Faultlines emerged in the ensuing years that would forever change the political landscape, rendering Australia a broken nation. And yet, despite the deep sacrifices and in the face of a mounting death toll, most Australians continued to support the war. It was their resilience, their willingness to suffer economic hardship and their stoic acceptance of casualties that no modern democracy would tolerate that made the war effort possible. Joan Beaumont’s Broken Nation is the first book to bring together all the dimensions of the Great War, in a narrative that weaves together brilliant scholarship with storytelling, bringing to life the young men in the battlefield trenches and their loved ones at home. We witness the fear and courage of the tens of thousands of soldiers, pace the war rooms of Australian command that dictated the direction of the war, and come to understand the deep sacrifices as death on an unprecedented scale mounts.
Broken Nation brings lucid insight into the mass grief and pride that has made the memory of this terrible war central to the making of Australia. Accessible and authoritative, Broken Nation is the essential companion as Australians head towards the centenary of the Great War. Buy Here.
Australia’s Secret War: How Unionists Sabotaged Our Troops in World War II by Hal G.P. Colebatch
How trade unions sabotaged Australian military forces in World War II. Buy Now.
Young Adult Fiction
The Incredible Here and Now by Felcity Castagna
Michael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman. Buy Now.
Silver Buttons by Bob Graham
Bob Graham beautifully captures a world vision in one solitary moment. At 9.59 on Thursday morning, Jodie draws a duck. Just as she is about to add one final silver button to the duck’s boots, her little brother takes his first step. At this exact same moment, a man buys bread, a soldier leaves home, a baby is being born…Here is a book, a story, a philosophy so simply told and yet – in true and inimitable Bob Graham style – so rich with emotion and meaning. It is in the smallest details that we sense the greatest significance and can see the big picture. From his glorious urban skyscapes to the tender portrayal of a falling feather or the tying of a shoelace or a dog’s joy in scratching his back, Bob lets us in on a world view conveyed with humanity, compassion and affection. This is a book that is sure to connect quietly and powerfully with readers of all ages. The idea that we are all alone, and yet all as one in the world, is drawn with huge sensitivity and poetry. Bob Graham’s books are multi-award winning and have sold over two million copies worldwide! Buy Here.