And that Gillian Mears’ Foal’s Bread won the PM’s award for fiction and Frances Watts won the children’s fiction award for Goodnight, Mice!. Frances Watts is also one of Australia’s best and most in-demand editors of fiction and non-fiction – she’s so good that if the Prime Minister ever gave awards for editing she’d probably win that too. (She was the structural editor for my latest book so I know from experience how amazing she is.)
I was also very pleased to see that Bill Gammage won the prize for Australian history for The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, which ‘explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people.’ I think I’ll be reading this book next.
In his acceptance speech Luke Davies quoted Anatole Broyard: ‘Unless we read poetry we’ll never have our hearts broken by language … an indispensable preliminary to a civilized life.’ Way to go.