Catch up on all the latest news from Penguin Random House Australia including award winning authors, illustrators, designers, publishers and other publishing industry and book related news.
The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.
For more information please visit the Australian Society of Authors website.
Lily Brett has become the first Australian and only the fourth woman to win the Prix Medicis Etranger for her most recent novel, Lola Bensky. The prize is given to an author of a work that has been translated into French from another language and previous winners include Milan Kundera, Philip Roth, Dave Eggers and Orhan Pamuk. Congratulations, Lily.
Congratulations to Kurt Fearnley who has won his fifth New York marathon in dramatic fashion overnight.
Fearnley crossed the finish line in a time of 1 hour 30 minutes 55 seconds, less than a second ahead of runner-up Ernst van Dyk of South Africa.
A pack of six athletes approached the final kilometre of the race together before Fearnley broke clear in the last hundred metres, holding on to win by less than a metre.
The win was Fearnley’s fifth in New York but first since 2009.
“That was one of the toughest races of my life,” Fearnley said.
“This race is the highlight of the schedule every year and the feeling of winning here again is just indescribable.”
The wheelchair race was in danger of starting at all this year, with strong winds causing a safety risk for competitors. It was decided the wheelchair athletes would compete over a course shortened by three miles (approximately 4.8km).
“The wind blows you around so much and cross winds can be particularly dangerous. The first 25 kilometres or so were straight into it today which made the going tough,” Fearnley said.
“The weather is one of those things that’s completely out of your control so you just deal with what gets thrown at you on the day.”
“Today the marathon gods made us work extra hard which makes the win that little bit sweeter.”
Fearnley’s win in New York caps off a successful 2014, sitting alongside a victory in the Sydney Marathon, a runner-up finish in the Chicago Marathon and a Commonwealth Games Silver Medal. His greatest achievement this year, however, was becoming a father for the first time with son Harry born in March.
Kurt’s autobiography, Pushing the Limits: Life, Marathons and Kokoda, was published last week.
The following books have been shortlisted for the inaugural Voss Literary Prize, convened by the Australian University Heads of English.
For more information on these awards please vuisit the Voss Literary Prize website.
Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey is the winner of the inaugural Readings New Australian Writing Award 2014.
The Readings New Australian Writing Award supports published Australian authors working in fiction, and recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature (to be eligible, books must be an author’s first or second published work only).
The judges said:
‘Only the Animals is surely one of the boldest Australian short-story collections in recent years. Here is a rare beast – a work of fiction that is not only richly imaginative, but also intelligent, ambitious and universal in theme Ceridwen Dovey has created a book that wears its literary antecedents – Kafka, Colette, Woolf, Coetzee – lightly, but with each story she proves that Only the Animals belongs in this sort of company.
The ten stories in this collection are each narrated by the soul of a different animal that has died during human conflict – from a Russian tortoise who drifts in space during the Cold War to a dolphin sent to Iraq by the US Navy. However, Only the Animals is more than just a contemplation of animal–human relationships. These inventive stories are playfully self-aware and deeply philosophical. They are by turn deeply moving, as in the story of two elephant sisters caught up in the 1987 Mozambique civil war, and slyly funny, as in the story of a mussel in the midst of an existential crisis at Pearl Harbor. Dovey’s narrators subvert our expectations and provoke us to consider questions of compassion and warfare, of gender and history, of loyalty and family bonds. These animals voice the uncomfortable, providing new ways of looking at our world.
Only the Animals is a luminous example of literature’s power to foster and develop empathy, and reveals how fiction, as opined by Camus, can truly be the lie through which we tell the truth.’
For more information visit: http://www.readings.com.au/
For more information regarding these awards please visit the Inky website.
Penguin Random House Australia is thrilled by the wonderful news that Richard Flanagan’s novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage Australia, Chatto & Windus UK, Knopf US), has been named winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize. We are absolutely thrilled and delighted for Richard for this most-deserved honour, recognition of a novel, by his own admission, 12 years in the making. Fellow Booker Prize winner, Thomas Keneally, described as “a grand examination of what it is to be a good man and a bad man in the one flesh and, above all, of how it is to live after survival.”
In accepting the award, Richard said, "I'm astonished. You do not expect these strokes of good fortune to come your way, you're just grateful to be back at the table the next day writing."
Nikki Christer, Richard’s publisher, said, “I have worked with Richard Flanagan for nearly twenty years, and I have always known in my heart that he is one of the most original, talented, creative and exciting voices writing in the English language. With this accolade we have confirmation that he is also one of the most important. He now joins a very select group of writers as a Booker Prize winner, cementing his already high reputation and status as a writer of books that are loved by readers around the world.
“Today is a great day for the world of letters and for all of us. In the company of such wonderful books, open for the first time to American writers, it is an immense achievement to have won this prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a book that critics and readers worldwide have called a masterpiece. Australia should be so proud of Richard – I, for one, could not be more proud of the writer whom I am honoured to publish, and call a friend.”
The 2014 Speech Pathology Australia Awards have been finalised and Penguin Random House Australia has one winner in the following category:
Birth to Three Years (the let's Read category)
For more information on these awards and to see the full list of winners please visit the Speech Pathology Australia website.
Penguin Australia is deeply saddened by the passing of acclaimed Melbourne writer Morris Lurie. During a career which spanned almost 50 years, Morris wrote numerous books, short stories, essays and plays, including the novel Seven Books for Grossman and the children’s book Twenty-Seventh Annual African Hippopotamus Race published by Penguin. He received the Patrick White Award for under-recognised, lifetime achievement in literature in 2006. A fine writer, who will be greatly missed.