The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Australian Book News: Coetzee Wins $40,000 Prize

CATE Kennedy didn't have any delusions that she would win the NSW Premier's Prize for fiction from heavyweight fellow-nominees David Malouf and J.M. Coetzee. After all, although her intriguing, spare and essentially Australian short stories are widely admired, the novel in contention, The World Beneath, was her first.

Winning the People's Choice Award at the NSW Premier's Literary Prize award ceremony in Sydney last night, however, seems to have pleased her even more than the big one would have.

"Readers are the very people you're writing for," she said. "You're writing because you want to be read, to have your book thought about and talked about.

"And these people have taken the trouble to go to their computers and vote. I'm really pleased and gratified."

Adelaide-based South African writer Coetzee won the $40,000 Christina Stead Prize for fiction for Summertime, the third instalment of his autobiographical trilogy that began with Boyhood and Youth.

Fairfax foreign correspondent Paul McGeough won the $40,000 Douglas Stewart prize for non-fiction -- and Book of the Year -- for King Khalid: Mossad's failed hit . . . and the rise of Hamas.

Jane Campion shared the $60,000 script writing award for her feature film Bright Star with Aviva Ziegler for her ABC television documentary Fairweather Man on painter Ian Fairweather.

No award was given in the playwriting category, for which, controversially, no short-list was nominated this year.

Andrew Croome's Document Z, a fictionalised account of the Petrov affair that won The Australian/Vogel award for an unpublished manuscript in 2008, won the $5000 UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing.

The $30,000 NSW Premier's Prize for Literary Scholarship was awarded to Philip Mead for Networked Language: Culture and History in Australian Poetry.

Kennedy's sharply observed writing is the result perhaps of a particularly wide exposure to life. An airforce child born in Britain, she moved around bases in Australia before finishing her education in Canberra.

She worked in community theatre and as a librarian, living in rural Victoria and Mexico, before fetching up in Benalla, northeast of Melbourne. She married a farmer and has a four-year-old daughter.

The World Beneath has been shortlisted for the 2010 Barbara Jefferis Award.


Post a Comment

<< Home