The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2019
The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2019 – 40th Anniversary at the State Library of New South Wales. I was fortunate to be in the audience and watch Book of the Year Award go to Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (Black Inc.) by Billy Griffiths. This book is a gift of understanding and insight into the learning to be taken from the archaeology of Australia embedded in Indigenous culture over more than a 60,000 year timeline.
The fabulous Boy Swallows Universe (Fourth Estate) by Trent Dalton is a funny, moving and captivating read that touches on themes I identified in Incinerate - the ambiguity and indefinable aspects of character that draw forth deep love beyond the cliché. Trent Dalton won the People’s Choice Award which is a great reflection on reader opinion. The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction was won by Michelle de Kretser with her thought provoking novel, The Life to Come (A&U). This is a set of stories that reflects on questions of pretence, hopes and journey. Incinerate raises questions of the truth and viability of a one dimensional social media human construct, and the worthiness of devolving emotion on a perfect persona rather than a flawed individual.
Take-home for me
*let your imagination loose
*be generous with your characters; let them live
*listen to the wisdom of the best
*observe life around you and draw on it