Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Beauty and Depth

Last night in Sydney the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the winners of the 2015 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. I am thrilled that Joan London won for best fiction for her magnificent The Golden Age.

The shortlist for the fiction prize was a tight contest with some well regarded authors rounding out the top five:

  • Peter Carey for Amnesia;
  • Elizabeth Harrower for In Certain Circles;
  • Rohan Wilson for To Name Those Lost; and,
  • Sonya Hartnett for Golden Boys.
I had expected it to be a tight race between The Golden Age and Golden Boys. London had missed out on this year's Stella Prize and Miles Franklin Award, so I am excited that she triumphed for this award.

When I reviewed this book earlier this year, I noted how Australian this book is with its depictions of the landscape, culture and language of Australia. 

The judges of this prize commented that it "is a grand narrative written on a most intimate and modest canvas" and "a novel of great beauty and depth", which captures the book beautifully. 

I should mention the other books that won at the PM's Literary Awards:

Geoffrey Legmann for Poems 1957-2013

Australian History (Joint winners)
Ross Coulthard for Charles Bean
David Horner for The Spy Catchers - The Official History of ASIO Vol 1

Non Fiction (Joint winners)
Marleen Bungey for John Olsen: An Artist's Life
Michael Wilding for Wild Bleak Bohemia

Young Adult Fiction
Claire Zorn for The Protected

Children's Fiction
David Metzenthen for One Minute's Silence 

I must admit to being disappointed that Helen Garner's gripping This House of Grief  was overlooked for the non-fiction prize. It should have won.

For more information on all the winners and shortlisted books, see the PM Literary Awards website.