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The Courier-Mail Book of the Year Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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Sponsored by the Courier Mail, six books were chosen by a panel of four Queensland judges to cover a range of writing, from novels to verse and essays. The award reflected the strength of Australian publishing and the role Queensland has played in nurturing resident writers. (Courier Mail, 2 October 1999 p17)


2005 winner y separately published work icon The Silver Donkey : A Novel for Children Sonya Hartnett , Camberwell : Penguin , 2004 Z1153478 2004 single work children's fiction children's (taught in 1 units) In France during World War I, four French children learn about honesty, loyalty, and courage from an English army deserter who tells them a series of stories related to his small, silver donkey charm. (Source: Trove)
2005 winner People's Choice Award y separately published work icon The Running Man Michael Gerard Bauer , Norwood : Omnibus Books , 2004 Z1146253 2004 single work novel young adult "Tom Leyton, a reclusive Vietnam veteran, has been the subject of gossip and rumour for thirty years. When Joseph Davidson, his young neighbour and a talented artist, is asked to draw a portrait of him, an uneasy relationship begins to unfold, one that will force each of them to confront his darkest secrets. This a story about how we perceive others, the judgements we make about them, how we cope with tragedy, and the nature of miracles." (Source: Author's website)
2004 winner y separately published work icon The White Earth Andrew McGahan , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2004 Z1113518 2004 single work novel (taught in 14 units)

'His father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his unknown uncle - an embittered old man encamped in the ruins of a once great station homestead, Kuran House. It's a baffling and sinister new world for the boy, a place of decay and secret histories. His uncle is obsessed by a long life of decline and by a dark quest for revival, his mother is desperate for a wealth and security she has never known, and all their hopes it seems come to rest upon William's young shoulders. But as the past and present of Kuran Station unravel and merge together, the price of that inheritance may prove to be the downfall of them all. The White Earth is a haunting, disturbing and cautionary tale.' (publisher's website)

2003 winner y separately published work icon Wings of the Kite-Hawk Nicolas Rothwell , Sydney : Picador , 2003 Z1019550 2003 single work autobiography travel
2002 winner y separately published work icon Recollections of a Bleeding Heart : A Portrait of Paul Keating PM Don Watson , Milsons Point : Random House Australia , 2002 Z994945 2002 single work biography 'In December 1991 Paul Keating wrested the role of Prime Minister from Bob Hawke and the bruises from that struggle were part of the baggage he brought to the job: the other parts included the worst recession in 60 years and an electorate determined to make him pay for it. Keating defied the odds and won the 1993 election, and in his four years as Prime Minister set Australia on a new course - towards engagement with Asia, a republic, reconciliation, a social democracy built on a modern export-based economy and sophisticated public systems of education and training, health and social security. Widely regarded as a quintessential economic rationalist, Keating's record clearly shows that his vision was infinitely broader and more complex.

'Don Watson was employed as Keating's speechwriter. Based on the diaries Watson kept through the four turbulent and exhausting years of Keating's Prime Ministership, on its release Recollections of a Bleeding Heart was widely deemed a masterpiece. It is at once a groundbreaking "inside" account of politics and a profound and extraordinarily frank study of the most intriguing and visionary politician in Australia's modern history. Now, when vision and character have all but vanished from politics, Don Watson's Recollections makes absorbing - and essential - reading.' (From the publisher's website, 10th anniversary edition.)
2001 joint winner y separately published work icon True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2000 Z668312 2000 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 29 units)

'"I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false."

'In TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semi-literate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.' (From the publisher's website.)

First prize shared between Peter Carey and Alan Gould (Schoonermaster's Dance)
2001 joint winner y separately published work icon The Schoonermaster's Dance Alan Gould , Pymble : Flamingo , 2000 Z668474 2000 single work novel

'Sarah Tilber has a passion for history. Captivated by the mysterious Charlie Tilber she embarks on a journey across the world, determined to uncover his secrets. But as she becomes more deeply involved in her project Sarah begins to lose her ties with the present, drifting away on the sea of the past. It is left to her friend, Jenn, to piece together the fragments of two lives and thereby uncover a haunting which stretches across the Tilber generations.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

First prize shared between Alan Gould and Peter Carey (True History of the Kelly Gang)
2000 joint winner y separately published work icon The Twelfth of Never A Memoir Louis Nowra , Sydney : Picador , 1999 Z11389 1999 single work autobiography

'A broadly chronological account of [Nowra's] childhood and eventual progression towards maturity, love and playwriting' (Dianne Dempsey 'Emerging from the Chrysalis').

2000 joint winner y separately published work icon The Shark Net : Memories and Murder Robert Drewe , Ringwood : Penguin , 2000 Z266419 2000 single work autobiography

'Written with the same lyrical intensity and spellbinding prose that has won Robert Drewe's fiction international acclaim, The Shark Net is set in the 1950s in a city haunted by the menace of an elusive serial killer. Drewe's youth in the middle-class seaside suburb of Perth, Australia—often described as the most isolated city in the world—takes a sinister turn when a social outcast (who turns out to be an employee of Drewe's father) embarks on a five-year murder spree. This unusual memoir brilliantly evokes the confluence of adolescent innocence and sexual awakening while a hare-lipped killer who eventually murders eight people, including one of Drewe's friends, lurks in the shadows.' (Publication summary).

1999 winner y separately published work icon In the New Country David Foster , London : Fourth Estate , 1999 Z114128 1999 single work novel satire
1960 winner y separately published work icon Cattleman R. S. Porteous , Sydney London : Australasian Publishing Co. Harrap , 1960 Z211165 1960 single work novel