The Nita May Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work from an Australian woman writer. Established in 1994 under the will of Nita May Dobbie, the Dobbie is one of a pair of awards – the Nita B. Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers. Both awards recognise female writers who have published fiction or non-fiction classified as 'life writing'. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature and any writing with a strong personal element.
The award was not awarded in 2020, due to a review of the funding trust and the award processes.
Source: http://www.perpetual.com.au/kibble/awards.htm Sighted: 15/11/2013.
'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.
'Salt Creek is set in the Coorong in the 1850s: a remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region in the new province of South Australia, which has been opened to graziers willing to chance their luck. Among them are Stanton Finch and his family, including sixteen-year-old Hester Finch.
'Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the travellers passing along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Hester witnesses the destruction of their subtle culture and begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.'
'Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In ‘Heat’, we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In ‘Water’, a futuristic world is imagined and the fate of a people threatened. In ‘Light’, familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging.'
'Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.' (Publication summary)
'It's Not Every Day You Get to Admit You're Mad.
'The thing with psychosis is that when I'm sick I believe the delusional stuff to the same degree that you might know the sky is above and the earth below. And if someone were to say to me that the delusional thinking is, in fact, delusional, well that's the same as if I assure you now that we walk on the sky. Of course you wouldn't believe me, and that's why it's sometimes so hard for people who are sick like this to know that they need treatment. Psychosis and severe depression have a huge effect on how you relate to other people and how you see the world. It's a bit like being in a vacuum, or behind a wall of really thick glass . . . you lose any sense of connectedness. You're cast adrift from everyone and everything that matters.
'I've lived with acute psychosis and depression for the best part of twenty years. This is the story of my journey from chaos to balance, and from limbo to meaning.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Toyo learned to ask nothing, to wait and count the days. But they passed and passed and still the doorway remained empty of his deep voice, calling out her name.
'Blending the intimacy of memoir with an artist's vision, Toyo is the story of a remarkable woman, a vivid picture of Japan before and after war, and an unpredictable tale of courage and change in today's Australia.
'Born into the traditional world of pre-war Osaka, Toyo must always protect the secret of her parents' true relationship. Her father lives in China with his wife; her unmarried mother runs a café. Toyo and her mother are beautiful and polite, keeping themselves in society's good graces.
'Then comes the rain of American bombs. Toyo's life is uprooted again and again. With each sharp change and painful loss, she becomes more herself and more aware of where she has come from. She finds family and belief, but still clings to her parents' secret.
'In Toyo, Lily Chan has pieced together the unconventional shape of her grandmother's story. Vibrant and ultimately heart-rending, Toyo is the chronicle of an extraordinary life, infused with a granddaughter's love.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Night Street is the passionate story of a young painter, Clarice Beckett, who defies society's strict conventions and indifferent art critics alike and leads an intense private and professional life. With her extraordinary talent for making simple city and seascapes haunting and mysteriously revelatory, Clarice paints prolifically and lives largely, overcoming the seemingly confined existence as the spinster daughter in the parental home.
Night Street began with Thornell's first encounter with the paintings of Melbourne artist Clarice Beckett (1887-1935) at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The subtle power of Clarice's highly atmospheric, enigmatic landscapes enabled her to imagine Clarice's inner life and shape an extraordinary novel.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Emmett Brown is as dark as Heathcliff, and as unpredictable. Sometimes he's an inspiration, but not often. He's a man of booze and obsessions: one of them is his "System", an attempt to bend the laws of probability. But when the lottery numbers and horses fail him, so do love and reason, and he becomes an ogre to his wife and children.
'For the innocents - Louisa, Rob, Peter, Daniel and Jessie - the bonds formed hiding in hedges at the end of the street, waiting for the maelstroms to pass, are complex and unbreakable. Over the years, the consequences of Emmett's rages shape both their spirits and psyches, but as he lies dying they discover that love - however imperfect - is the best defence against pain.' (Publisher's blurb)
'A beautiful, beguiling and multi-layered novel, Fugitive Blue tells the story of a young art conservator and her work on an unusual panel painting in striking ultramarine. As she restores the fragile artwork, she begins to speculate on its provenance - its controversial creation in Renaissance Venice and reappearance three hundred years later during a young nobleman's Grand Tour of Europe, passing through nineteenth-century Paris before its eventual arrival in Australia as one of the scarce possessions of a post-war Greek migrant family.
'Threaded through the painting's progress is the story of the young conservator's own life in contemporary Melbourne, her developing passion for her work and the demise of her relationship with an actor named Mark.' (Publisher's blurb)
Swallow the Air follows the life of 15-year-old May Gibson, an Aboriginal girl from New South Wales whose mother commits suicide. May and her brother go to live with their aunt, but eventually May travels further afield, first to Redfern's Block in Sydney, then to the Northern Territory, and finally into central New South Wales. She travels to escape, but also in pursuit of a sense of her own history, family, and identity.
'A tiny coin found inside a Cloudy Bay oyster, a postcard of a white-haired child leaning against a beached dinghy and a coconut peeled and carved once upon a time on the Batavian coast. These trinkets, found in a sea chest, and the fragmented memories of her grandfather's tall tales are all Essie Lewis has left of her family history.
'After her grandfather's death, Essie returns to Bruny Island, Tasmania and to the lighthouse where her great-great-grandfather kept watch for nearly 40 years. Beneath the lighthouse, she begins to write the stories of her ancestors. But the island is also home to Pete Shelverton, a sculptor who hunts feral cats to make his own peace with the past. And as Essie writes, she finds that Pete is a part of the history she can never escape.' (Synopsis)
'I haven't got a 'boyfriend', Mum." "Fine way to be carrying on then, out all Sat'dy night with a strange fella..." "Muuum. " "Don't you marm me, my girl. When I was your age I wasn't out running around with any stray bloke with a flash car and the gift of the gab. "And when I'm your age, thought Sue maliciously, I won't be ringing up my kids to scab money and make their lives a misery into the bargain. Sue Wilson, young and Aboriginal, escapes her "too-large, too-poor family in a too-small" north Queensland town for Logan City's frontier sprawl. Entering "the mythic world of Work" she discovers that the view from behind the bar is less than glamorous, but pays the rent. When she meets Roger the good times begin to roll until she finds herself starring in a feature with medium level violence. Melissa Lucashenko's first novel makes no apologies. With direct and gutsy language, her characters live their lives in the shadows cast by indifferent affluence.' (Source: UQP website: www.uqp.uq.edu.au)