We have been waiting, waiting, waiting for the announcement of the shortlist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The sudden resignation of the Minister for the Arts a couple of months ago seems to have caused a delay in this announcement, which was expected in May. It’s one of my favourite awards on the Australian literary calendar – partly because it operates out of my home town but mainly because the winners are often not the “usual suspects” from the other awards around the country. It will be a shame if politics gets in the way of its smooth running!
The press release announcing the shortlist reminded me that these awards are now in their sixth year – which is right because they were one of the exciting initiatives of the new Labor Government after it came into power in late 2007.
The winners are usually announced in July but I can’t see a date in the press release or on the page the release links to. More waiting methinks!
Anyhow, without anymore preamble, this year’s shortlist, drawn from books published in 2012, is:
Floundering by Romy Ash (Also shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Award)
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey (my review)
Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser (I’ll be reading this in July, at last! Also shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Award)
Lost Voices by Christopher Koch
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany (my review. Won the Stella Prize and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award)
Burning Rice by Eileen Chong
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson (also shortlisted for the Stella Prize)
Jam Tree Gully: Poems by John Kinsella
Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden
Crimson Crop by Peter Rose
The Sex Lives of Australians: A History by Frank Bongiorno
Sandakan by Paul Ham
Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking
Farewell, Dear People by Ross McMullin
The Censor’s Library by Nicole Moore
Young adult fiction
Everything left unsaid by Jessica Davidson
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson
Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
Red by Libby Gleeson
Today We Have No Plans by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker
What’s the Matter, Aunty May? by Peter Friend, illustrated by Andrew Joyner
The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge by Marianne Musgrove
Congratulations to all the authors and publishers shortlisted. May they not have to wait too long for the winners’ announcement!