Colin Roderick Award longlist 2021

I wrote about this award in a Monday Musings back in 2012, but haven’t mentioned it much since. Roderick, as I explained in that post, is a somewhat controversial character in Australian literature. However, the award is worth $20,000 and encompasses a wide range of forms and genres, both fiction and nonfiction, so, I thought it might be interesting to revisit. Awards, like the Stella, which are brand like this, make interesting lists for readers.

But, just to recap … as I explained in my Monday Musings post, the award goes to “the best book published in Australia which deals with any aspect of Australian life”. A bit like the Miles Franklin – except that it can be “any” book.

It is administered by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies (FALS) at James Cook University.

The 15 longlisted titles for 2021 are:

  • Steven Conte’s The Tolstoy Estate (historical fiction, my review coming but here’s Lisa’s)
  • Stephanie Convery’s After the count: The death of Davey Browne (nonfiction)
  • Garry Disher’s Consolation (crime fiction, a sequel to Bitter Wash Road which I reviewed recently)
  • Anna Goldsworthy’s Melting moments (fiction, my review)
  • Jane Harper’s The survivors (crime fiction, Kim’s measured review)
  • Daniel Keighran & Tony Park’s Courage under fire (nonfiction/memoir)
  • Grantlee Kieza’s Banks (nonfiction/biography)
  • Sofie Laguna’s Infinite splendours (fiction, Theresa’s and Kate’s qualified reviews)
  • Tobias McCorkell’s Everything in its right place (fiction)
  • Louise Milligan’s Witness (nonfiction)
  • Kirli Saunders’ Bindi (children’s poetry)
  • Nardi Simpson’s Song of the crocodile (fiction, to be read in July)
  • Elizabeth Tan’s Smart ovens for lonely people (short stories, on my TBR, Bill’s review)
  • Jessie Tu’s A lonely girl is a dangerous thing (fiction, Kim’s and my inaugural blog mentee Angharad’s reviews)
  • Mark Wilson’s Eureka! A story of the goldfields (children’s picture book)
Book cover

This year’s extended longlist includes nine works of fiction, four of nonfiction (including a biography and a memoir), and two children’s books. One of these is Eureka!, which, says Books + Publishing, is the first children’s picture book to be longlisted for the award.

For more information, including an excellent description of each of the longlisted books, check out the Foundation’s website.

Do any of these books interest you?

20 thoughts on “Colin Roderick Award longlist 2021

  1. Thanks for the mention, Sue:)
    It is the pick of the bunch IMO, though apart from Song of the Crocodile which I began reading last night) that’s because none of the others appeal.
    Except, I should say, for the children’s books. I think it’s great that they are included!

    • Thanks Lisa … it’s a good book I agree. I hope to write my review of it tomorrow.

      I started one of my ILW books last night too, but that one I’ll be doing later in the month with my group.

      There are others that interest me – Laguna, the Saunders children’s book, Tan, and Tu – but it’s a broad list. I agree that it’s great seeing children’s books there.

  2. Thanks for the links, Sue. Those judges will have a hard time because comparing some of those books is like comparing oranges with lemons, I don’t envy them that task!

  3. Hi Sue, I have read a few, and I hope Elizabeth Tan’s Smart Ovens for Lonely People (short stories) win. Though I don’t think short stories often win prizes. I loved the stories and the writing.

  4. You’ll probably have guessed that I only recognize one name here (and I daren’t mention it, in case Bill is on the comments feed…not that I’ve read her books…I wouldn’t dare LOL).

    • Haha, Buried … I had to go back to the list to see what you meant because some names just didn’t stick with me! But as soon as I looked at it I knew exactly who you meant!

      Given you like short stories I would recommend the Tan – at least Bill would (haha), as I haven’t read her yet (but I do want to).

    • He is. And as WG says, try Tan, especially her novel, Rubik. Read the other one too – I have no idea why she gets included in awards, her writing is only so-so and her knowledge of the state/country she has chosen to live in is abysmal. But lots of people enjoy her crime mysteries.

      • I haven’t read her as you know Bill so I really can’t comment, but I am surprised to see her on a list like this. That may just be ignorance on my part, though, as it’s not fair of me to say this without reading her. At least you’ve read her!

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