Prime Minister’s Literary Award Winners Announced

The winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced in Brisbane yesterday.

Michelle de Kretser won the fiction prize for Questions of Travel. Her novel, which also won this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award, follows the lives of two very different protagonists. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney; Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

‘In my early 20s it was the first time I realised travel is so much a matter of privilege,’ she said as she accepted her award. ‘There are so many people in the world who can’t enjoy what we have – the freedom to move across other cultures and enjoy other cultures.’

John Kinsella won the poetry award with Jam Tree Gully, a collection that confronts the legacy of Thoreau’s Walden and explores the nature of our responsibility and connection to the land.

George Megalogenis won the non-fiction category for The Australian Moment, a book that drew on interviews with past Australian prime ministers to help us understand how Australia sidestepped the Great Recession to become the envy of the developed world.

He talked to Annabel Crabb about the book at the Wheeler Centre last year; you can watch the interview online.

‘I wanted The Australian Moment to start a long conversation about our future. In this accelerated information age, it is important to find the time for these debates,’ he told the Australian.

Historian Ross McMullin’s book, Farewell, Dear People, won the prize for Australian history. It contains ten extended biographies of young men who exemplified Australia’s gifted lost generation of World War I.

Bruce Pascoe won the young adult fiction award for Fog a Dox, a story of courage, acceptance and respect about a fox cub raised by a dingo.

And Libby Gleeson won the children’s fiction award for her book Red, a multi-layered novel with the young protagonist suffering from amnesia after a cyclone hits the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

Each winner receives $80,000 tax free, while shortlisted entries receive $5,000.

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