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News  •  9 March 2023


2023 Penguin Literary Prize shortlist announced

See the six shortlisted titles for the 2023 Penguin Literary Prize. Winner to be announced 15 June 2023.

Penguin Random House Australia is thrilled to reveal the shortlist for the 2023 Penguin Literary Prize. The shortlisted titles are:

  • The Elementals by Liz Allan. The Elementals tells the story of The Bastards, a band featuring three teenage girls who are obsessed with Nirvana.
  • The Boy Who Wept Rabbits by Benjamin Forbes. This story co-opts magical realism to deal with issues of masculinity, shame, abuse and identity. It follows the journey of a timid boy, afflicted with rabbits for tears, as he moves across a continent and, internally, traverses a landscape of self-loathing and confusion.
  • Falling and Burning by Michael Krockenberger. From ten different perspectives, Falling and Burning unfurls the story of a tragedy resulting from a joyride gone wrong.
  • Jade and Emerald by Michelle See-Tho. A lonely ten-year-old girl forms an unlikely bond with a socialite. The friendship strains her already-fraught relationship with her strict mother.
  • Nothing Like The Sun by J.N. Read. Revolving around issues of ageing populations, genetic modifications and artificial intelligence, Nothing Like The Sun is a morally complex speculative novel of voluntary euthanasia gone wrong and one Officer’s quest to save their father from termination in the name of population control.
  • The Guggenheim by Heather Taylor-Johnson. During their honeymoon in New York, Julia and Dex survive a massacre that veils their marriage in tragedy and death. Four years on from the shooting, The Guggenheim sees them back in Adelaide, where Julia finds the chaos of her coping unsustainable.

Meredith Curnow, Publisher at Penguin Random House Australia said, 'each year staff across Penguin Random House and United Book Distributors enthusiastically throw themselves into the preliminary reading for the Penguin Literary Prize. It is an exhilarating process, reading work from writers across the country. This year the shortlist features six quite different texts and I can’t wait to see which one the judges select to be published by PRH.'

The winner will be announced by Penguin Random House Australia on Thursday, 15 June 2023.

The Penguin Literary Prize, launched in 2017, was established to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors of literary fiction. Previous winners include Kathryn Hind with Hitch, Imbi Neeme with The Spill, Sophie Overett with The Rabbits, James McKenzie Watson with Denizen and Annette Higgs with On A Bright Hillside in Paradise, to be published in July 2023.

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