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The Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize
Subcategory of 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
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History

All authors shortlisted for 'The Nib' in any given year also receive the Alex Buso Shortlist Prize.

Winners

2018 winner y separately published work icon The Trauma Cleaner The Trauma Cleaner : One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster Sarah Krasnostein , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017 11873511 2017 single work biography

'I call my dad from the car and ask him about his morning, tell him about mine.

'‘What kind of hoarder was she?’ he asks.

'‘Books and cats, mainly,’ I tell the man who loves his cats and who I know is now actively considering his extensive book collection.

'‘What’s the difference between a private library and a book hoarder?’ he wonders.

'We are both silent before we laugh and answer in unison: ‘Faeces.’

'But the difference is this phone call. And the others like it I could make—and how strong we are when we are loved.

'Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife…

'But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

'A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

'Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead—and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner y separately published work icon Eggshell Skull Bri Lee , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2018 13717214 2018 single work autobiography

'EGGSHELL SKULL: A well-established legal doctrine that a defendant must 'take their victim as they find them'. If a single punch kills someone because of their thin skull, that victim's weakness cannot mitigate the seriousness of the crime.

'But what if it also works the other way? What if a defendant on trial for sexual crimes has to accept his 'victim' as she comes: a strong, determined accuser who knows the legal system, who will not back down until justice is done?

'Bri Lee began her first day of work at the Queensland District Court as a bright-eyed judge's associate. Two years later she was back as the complainant in her own case.

'This is the story of Bri's journey through the Australian legal system; first as the daughter of a policeman, then as a law student, and finally as a judge's associate in both metropolitan and regional Queensland -- where justice can look very different, especially for women. The injustice Bri witnessed, mourned and raged over every day finally forced her to confront her own personal history, one she'd vowed never to tell. And this is how, after years of struggle, she found herself on the other side of the courtroom, telling her story.

'Bri Lee has written a fierce and eloquent memoir that addresses both her own reckoning with the past as well as with the stories around her, to speak the truth with wit, empathy and unflinching courage. Eggshell Skull is a haunting appraisal of modern Australia from a new and essential voice.' (Source: Publisher's blurb)

2018 winner y separately published work icon Relatively Famous Roger Averill , Yarraville : Transit Lounge , 2018 13864709 2018 single work novel

'Michael and Majorie Madigan refuse to be interviewed by biographer Sinclair Hughes  for his new book Inside the Lion's Den: The Literary Life of Gilbert Madigan. This is not surprising as Gilbert is Marjorie's ex- husband and Michael's mostly absent father.

'In Roger Averill's brilliantly conceived  new novel, Relatively Famous, Gilbert  Madigan is Australia's first Booker Prize winner, a feted and much lauded author that the U.K. and U.S. now likes to call their own. Michael cannot escape his father's life and work, and at times his own life seems swallowed by it. His father's success is a source of undeniable pleasure but also of great turmoil. How  does one live in the shadow of a famous relative who we never seem to be able to live up to?

'In a world increasingly obsessed  with  fame and celebrity, this engrossing  novel subtly explores  notions of success , masculinity, betrayal and loss, and ultimately what it might mean to live a good life.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon Brett Whiteley : Art, Life and the Other Thing Ashleigh Wilson , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016 9753181 2016 single work biography

'When he died in 1992 Brett Whiteley left behind decades of ceaseless activity—some works bound to a particular place or time, others that are masterpieces of light and line.

'Whiteley had arrived in Europe in 1960 determined to make an impression. Before long he was the youngest artist to have work acquired by the Tate. With his wife, Wendy, and daughter, Arkie, Whiteley then immersed himself in bohemian New York. But within two years he fled, having failed to break through.

'Back in Sydney, he soon became Australia’s most celebrated artist. He won the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes in the same year—his prices soared, as did his fame. Among his friends were Francis Bacon and Patrick White, Billy Connolly and Dire Straits. Yet addiction was taking its toll: Whiteley struggled in vain to separate his talent from his disease, and an inglorious end approached.

'Written with unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, and handsomely illustrated with classic Whiteley artworks, rare notebook sketches and candid family photos, this dazzling biography reveals for the first time the full portrait of a mercurial artist.' (Publication summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon Ghost Empire Richard Fidler , Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2016 9458193 2016 single work prose travel

'Ghost Empire is a rare treasure - an utterly captivating blend of the historical and the contemporary, realised by a master storyteller.

In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Consantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son.

'Ghost Empire is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon The Ice Age : A Journey into Crystal Meth Addiction Luke Williams , Fremantle : Vivid Publishing , 2016 9029350 2016 single work autobiography

'A topical, insightful investigation into a drug that has taken a ferocious grip on societies around the world — told by a man intimately acquainted with it.

'Luke Williams was a freelance journalist researching addiction to crystallised methamphetamine (commonly known as crystal meth or ice) when the worst possible thing happened — he became addicted himself. Over the next three months, he was seduced by the drug and descended into psychosis.

'This confronting and illuminating story charts Luke’s recovery from the drug, and his investigation into its usage and prevalence in Australia and the Western world. In examining what led to his addiction, Luke also explores the social problems that surround ice, scrutinising whether its abuse is in fact an epidemic, with what we’re experiencing now merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or yet another moral panic about the underclass. Luke traces the history of methamphetamine from its legal usage in the early 20th century to its contemporary relevance as one of the most foreboding and talked-about illicit drugs in the world, and his search for answers sees him researching meth labs, interviewing addicts and law-enforcement officials, and witnessing firsthand the effects of the drug on individuals, families, and the healthcare system.

'Combining memoir with reportage, The Ice Age is a vital, compelling first-person account, and an investigation into a drug that is fast becoming the subject of national discussion throughout the Western world. ' (Publication summary)

2016 winner Helen O'Neill For Daffodil: Biography of a Flower.
2016 winner y separately published work icon A Long Time Coming : Essays on Old Age Melanie Joosten , Fremantle : Vivid Publishing , 2016 9029520 2016 selected work essay

'This collection of thought-provoking essays explores what it means to grow old in our youth-obsessed world.

'Improved health care and increased standards of living mean that each generation is living longer than the last. Rather than heralding this as a success, governments see our ageing population as an imminent disaster and old age as a medical problem. In response, we are encouraged to remain active, stay healthy and work longer — in short, to refuse becoming old. But if living longer is really about staying young, do we risk turning a blind eye to issues facing the elderly?

'Written with intelligence and compassion, Joosten’s pieces consider the housing crisis as it affects older people, the politics of nursing-home care, the realities of dementia, and women’s changing relationship to their bodies as they age. Weaving interviews with research and personal essay, Joosten undertakes a timely and clearsighted investigation into what it means to age in a world focused on the young. Arguing that every one of us has the right to be old while maintaining integrity, these essays ask us to reconsider our individual and collective experiences to find meaning and come to terms with growing old.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Santamaria : A Most Unusual Man Gerard Henderson , Melbourne : Melbourne University Press , 2015 8772678 2015 single work biography

'B.A. Santamaria was one of the most controversial Australians of our time. An ardent anti-Communist and devout Catholic, he was fiercely intelligent and a natural leader, polarising the community into loyal followers and committed opponents.

'In the 1940s Santamaria created the anti-Communist organisation 'The Movement'. In the 1950s he was a key figure in the tumultuous split of the Australian Labor Party. He subsequently enjoyed great influence as a public commentator on his television program Point of View and in his weekly column in The Australian. Santamaria had a strong social conscience and spent much of his time helping the underprivileged. Although he began as an advocate and champion of the Catholic Church, he spent much of his last decades opposing some of its activities.

'Published for the 100th anniversary of Santamaria's birth, Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man is an authoritative biography from Gerard Henderson, a close colleague until a disagreement saw the two men estranged and never reconciled. ' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Talking to My Country : The Book That Every Australian Should Read Talking to My Country Stan Grant , Sydney : HarperCollins , 2016 9146492 2016 single work criticism

'An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity.'

'In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media. His was a personal, passionate and powerful response to racism in Australian and the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an indigenous man. 'We are the detritus of the brutality of the Australian frontier', he wrote, 'We remained a reminder of what was lost, what was taken, what was destroyed to scaffold the building of this nation's prosperity.''

'Stan Grant was lucky enough to find an escape route, making his way through education to become one of our leading journalists. He also spent many years outside Australia, working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, a time that liberated him and gave him a unique perspective on Australia. This is his very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country.'

'Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country - what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all. He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?' (Source: Publisher's website)

2015 winner Mark Dapin or The Nashos’ War: Australia’s National Servicemen and Vietnam
2015 winner Sam Vincent for Blood & Guts: Dispatches from the Whale Wars
2015 winner y separately published work icon Acute Misfortune : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen Erik Jensen , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2014 7880297 2014 single work biography

'An unflinching portrait of talent and addiction.

'In 2008 the artist Adam Cullen invited journalist Erik Jensen to stay in his spare room and write his biography.

'What followed were four years of intense honesty and a relationship that became increasingly claustrophobic. At one point Cullen shot Jensen, in part to see how committed he was to the book. At another, he threw Jensen from a speeding motorbike. The book contract Cullen used to convince Jensen to stay with him never existed.

'Acute Misfortune is a riveting account of the life and death of one of Australia's most celebrated artists, the man behind the Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham. Jensen follows Cullen through drug deals and periods of deep self-reflection, onwards into his court appearance for weapons possession and finally his death in 2012 at the age of forty-six. The story is by turns tender and horrifying: a spare tale of art, sex, drugs and childhood, told at close quarters and without judgement.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon Warning : The Story of Cyclone Tracy Sophie Cunningham , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014 7418671 2014 single work biography

'The sky at the top end is big and the weather moves like a living thing. You can hear it in the cracking air when there is an electrical storm and as the thunder rolls around the sky…

'When Cyclone Tracy swept down on Darwin at Christmas 1974, the weather became not just a living thing but a killer. Tracy destroyed an entire city, left seventy-one people dead and ripped the heart out of Australia's season of goodwill.

'For the fortieth anniversary of the nation's most iconic natural disaster, Sophie Cunningham has gone back to the eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the devastation—and those who faced the heartbreaking clean-up and the back-breaking rebuilding. From the quiet stirring of the service-station bunting that heralded the catastrophe to the wholesale slaughter of the dogs that followed it, Cunningham brings to the tale a novelist's eye for detail and an exhilarating narrative drive. And a sober appraisal of what Tracy means to us now, as we face more—and more destructive—extreme weather with every year that passes.

'Compulsively readable and undeniably moving, Warning is the essential non-fiction book of 2014.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon John Olsen : An Artist's Life Darleen Bungey , Sydney : ABC Books , 2014 8070118 2014 single work biography

'This landmark biography by Darleen Bungey, the author of the celebrated biography of Arthur Boyd, graphically depicts the forces that drove John Olsen to become one of the country's greatest artists. An exhilarating book, both trenchant and tender, it strips away the veneer of showmanship and fame to show the substance of a painter driven by a need to depict his country's landscape as Australians had never seen it before.

'Given access to his uncensored diaries and drawing on years of extensive interviews with both Olsen and those who have known him best, she explores his passionate life and follows his navigation though the friendships, rivalries and politics of the Australian art world. How did a shy, stuttering boy from Newcastle, neglected by his alcoholic father, come to paint the great mural Salute to Five Bells at the Sydney Opera House?

'This biography follows that journey - through Olsen's early experiences in the bush, particularly a formative period at Yass (a time previously unrecorded), to years of cleaning jobs to pay his way through art school, to a milestone time spent in France and Spain - and traces his constant travels and relocations within Australia, including his epic journeys into the outback and to Kati thanda-Lake Eyre.

'From a child who was never taken to an art gallery, who learnt how to draw from comics, we come to see the famous artist in the black beret, the writer and poet, the engaging public speaker, the bon vivant - whose life has been defined by an absolute need to paint.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon The Director Is the Commander Anna Broinowski , Melbourne : Penguin , 2015 8585778 2015 single work autobiography

'We were all propagandists; the only differences were our goals.'

Looking for respite from her crumbling marriage and determined to stop a coal seam gas mine near her Sydney home, filmmaker Anna Broinowski finds wisdom and inspiration in the strangest of places: North Korea. Guided by the late Dear Leader Kim Jong Il's manifesto The Cinema and Directing, Broinowski, in a world first, travels to Pyongyang to collaborate with North Korea's top directors, composers and movie stars to make a powerful anti-fracking propaganda film.

The Director is the Commander centres around the bizarre twenty-one day shoot Broinowski did in North Korea to make her documentary, Aim High in Creation! She meets and befriends artists and apparatchiki, defectors and loyalists, and gains a new insight into the world's most secretive regime. Her adventures are set against a parallel exploration of propaganda in general: both in its ham-fisted North Korean form and its sophisticated but no less pervasive incarnation in the corporate West.

Funny, multi-layered and utterly compelling, The Director is the Commander is a gripping account of an extraordinary journey inside a nation we can usually only see from the outside looking in.

2014 winner y separately published work icon Killing Fairfax : Packer, Murdoch and the Ultimate Revenge Pamela Williams , Sydney : HarperCollins , 2013 7916777 2013 single work non-fiction

'KILLING FAIRFAX: PACKER, MURDOCH AND THE ULTIMATE REVENGE - an incisive, hard-hitting and utterly compelling exposé of media, powerful mates and multimillion-dollar deals that reads like a thriller.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon Kings Cross : A Biography Louis Nowra , Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2013 7916716 2013 single work biography

'Louis Nowra burrows beneath the sensationalist Underbelly ‘sex and sin’ narrative, revealing stories and a cast of characters – some household names others little-known - that not even a writer could conjure up.

'Kings Cross is a no-holds barred place, where backpackers, prostitutes, strippers, chefs, mad men, poets, beggars, booksellers, doctors, gangsters, sailors, musicians, drug traffickers, eccentrics, judges and artists live side by side. Part flaneur, part historian and part eyewitness, Louis Nowra is the best possible guide to a place both real, and a state of mind.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon The Reef : A Passionate History Iain McCalman , Camberwell : Penguin , 2013 7916625 2013 single work non-fiction

'The Great Barrier Reef, argues Iain McCalman, has been created by human minds as well as coral polyps, by imaginations as well as natural processes. In this landmark book he charts our shifting perceptions of it, from the terrifying labyrinth that almost sunk Cook's Endeavour to a fragile global treasure.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon Where Song Began : Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World Tim Low , Camberwell : Penguin , 2014 7916573 2014 single work non-fiction

'Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.

'But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin's time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world's scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon Let the Land Speak : A History of Australia : How the Land Created Our Nation Jackie French , Sydney : HarperCollins , 2013 7916491 2013 single work non-fiction

'From one of our most respected and award-winning authors, Jackie French, comes a fascinating and fresh interpretation of Australian history, focusing on how the land itself, rather than social forces, has shaped the major events that led to modern Australia. To understand the present, you need to understand the past. To understand Australia's history, you need to look at how the land has shaped not just our past, but will continue to shape our future. From highly respected, award-winning author Jackie French comes a new and fascinating interpretation of Australian history, focusing on how the land itself, rather than social forces, shaped the major events that led to modern Australia. Our history is mostly written by those who live, work and research in cities, but it's the land itself which has shaped our history far more powerfully and significantly than we realise. Reinterpreting the history we think we all know - from the indigenous women who shaped the land, from Terra Incognita to Eureka, from Federation to Gallipoli and beyond, Jackie French shows us that to understand our history, we need to understand our land. Taking us behind history and the accepted version of events, she also shows us that there's so much we don't understand about our history because we simply don't understand the way life was lived at the time.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 winner y separately published work icon The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka Clare Wright , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 6594747 2013 single work biography

'The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia’s foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.

'What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?

'As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.

'Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important—The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon On Warne Gideon Haigh , Melbourne : Penguin , 2012 Z1896563 2012 single work biography

'Who doesn't know the name Shane Warne?

Now that the Australian cricketer who dominated airwaves and headlines for twenty years has turned full-time celebrity and media event, his sporting conquests and controversies are receding steadily into the past.

But what was it like to watch Warne at his long peak, the man of a thousand international wickets, the incarnation of Australian audacity and cheek? Our leading cricket writer, Gideon Haigh, lived and loved the Warne era, when the impossible was everyday, and the sensational every other day.

In On Warne, he relives the era's highs, its lows, its fun and its follies. Drawing on interviews conducted with Warne over the course of a decade, and two decades of watching him play, Haigh assesses this greatest of sportsmen as cricketer, character, comrade, newsmaker and national figure – a natural in an increasingly regimented time, a simplifier in a growingly complicated world. The result is one of the finest cricket books ever written, a whole new way of looking at its subject, at sport, and at Australia.

One day, you might be asked what cricket in the time of Warne was like. On Warne is the definitive account.' Source: www.penguin.com.au/ (Sighted 24/10/2012).

2013 winner y separately published work icon Madeleine : A Life of Madeleine St. John Helen Trinca , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 Z1926171 2013 single work biography '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.
2013 winner y separately published work icon Burial Rites Hannah Kent , 2013 Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2013 Z1828606 2013 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

'In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

'Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?

'Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon Three Crooked Kings Matthew Condon , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2013 Z1921407 2013 single work biography crime 'In 1949, a young Terence Murray Lewis graduated from the police academy, ready to start his career in law enforcement. Over the next four decades, he rose to the pinnacle of power as the knighted Commissioner of Police in Queensland before his spectacular downfall and imprisonment after the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.

Three Crooked Kings follows Lewis' journey through the ranks, as he becomes part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glenn Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The alleged suicide of prostitute and brothel madam Shirley Brifman in the early 1970s provides the turning point for a culture that reigned unchecked for several decades. It was part of a grand narrative teeming with murder, pay-offs, political machinations, drug heists, assisted suicides, police in-fighting and a complicated system of corruption that ultimately collapsed under its own weight.

Based on unprecedented interviews with Terry Lewis and access to his personal papers, Three Crooked Kings is the missing piece in the puzzle of the story of Queensland's endemic generational corruption. It is a searing story of greed, crime and corruption. Awarded journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account of an era that changed Queensland society; an impact that reverberates across the country to this day.'
2012 winner y separately published work icon Sarah Thornhill Kate Grenville , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2011 Z1882145 2011 single work novel historical fiction 'Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. She grows up in the fine house her father is so proud of, a strong-willed young woman who's certain where her future lies. She's known Jack Langland since she was a child, and always loved him. But the past is waiting in ambush with its dark legacy. There's a secret in Sarah's family, a piece of the past kept hidden from the world and from her. A secret Jack can't live with... ' (Trove record)
2012 winner y separately published work icon Housewife Superstar : The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh Danielle Wood , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2011 Z1828361 2011 single work biography 'Housewife Superstar is the life story of eccentric Tasmanian domestic goddess, Marjorie Bligh. Now 94 years old, Marjorie is the author of a library of advice books covering topics including food, household management, health and beauty, poetry, gardening and recycling. Marjorie is the go-to-girl for all manner of problem-solving.' Source: Libraries Australia.
2012 winner y separately published work icon A Tragedy in Two Acts : Marcus Einfeld and Teresa Brennan Fiona Harari , Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2011 Z1813770 2011 single work biography 'This was not the ending either of them expected. Marcus Einfeld, former Federal Court judge and human rights champion, and his old friend Teresa Brennan, an exuberant, sometimes controversial US-based academic, had each spent years establishing demanding careers and international reputations, to create two lives that, on paper at least, exuded success. Then Einfeld was caught speeding. But rather than pay a small fine, the former judge told a court that Brennan had been driving his car. In reality she had been dead for three years. This is the remarkable story of two outstanding Australians whose lives have been lived large, and who, ultimately, have been bound by tragedy.' Source: www.coop-bookshop.com.au/ (Sighted 11/10/11).
2012 winner y separately published work icon Kinglake 350 Adrian Hyland , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2011 Z1798528 2011 single work prose (taught in 1 units) '"Kinglake-350 to VKC. Urgent, do you read me? The fire's here now. God help us."

'Kinglake-350 is a masterpiece of writing about family, community, country life and what happens when a day of ultimate terror arrives. Adrian Hyland takes a dramatic and compelling sequence of events on that day and weaves them into a picture of universal significance and deep fascination.

'On 7 February 2009 Roger Wood was the police officer in charge of Kinglake, at the epicentre of the worst bushfire disaster in Australia's history, Black Saturday. As the firestorm engulfed the community, he risked his life, again and again, to try and save people.

'With the fire raging all around, he phoned home to warn his wife what was coming. She screamed that the fire had already hit their property. Then the line went dead.

'Black Saturday was a many-headed monster in whose wake stories of grief, heroism and desolation erupted all over the state of Victoria. This is a book about the monster, and the heroism of those who confronted it. (From the publisher's website.)
2012 winner y separately published work icon The People Smuggler : The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi, the 'Oskar Schindler of Asia' Robin De Crespigny , Camberwell : Viking , 2012 Z1863577 2012 single work biography (taught in 1 units)

'At once a non-fiction thriller and a moral maze, this is one man's epic story of trying to find a safe place in the world.

'When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadow world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring.

'Through betrayal, triumph, misfortune - even romance and heartbreak - Ali is sustained by his fierce love of freedom and family. Continually pushed to the limits of his endurance, eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.

'With enormous power and insight, The People Smuggler tells a story of daily heroism, bringing to life the forces that drive so many people to put their lives in unscrupulous hands. It is an utterly gripping portrait of a man cut loose from the protections of civilisation, attempting to retain his dignity and humanity while taking whatever path he can out of an impossible position.' (From the publisher's website.)

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