NSW Premier’s Awards Shortlists 2012

 Read reviewHouse of Sticks

House of Sticks

Peggy Frew

Bonnie, never domestically inclined, has given up her life as a musician to become a stay-at-home mother to three small children. She tells herself she has no regrets, but sometimes the isolation and endless drudgery are...

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 Read reviewAll I Ever Wanted

All I Ever Wanted

Vikki Wakefield

Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go - anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won't get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She has set herself rules to live by, but she's starting to...

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The Little Refugee

The Little Refugee

Anh Do, Suzanne Do, Bruce Whatley

The Little Refugee tells of one family's survival against the odds, and the transforming power of hope.

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After Romulus

After Romulus

Raimond Gaita

In 1998, Raimond Gaita's Romulus, My Father was first published;the story of his father who came to Australia from Europe with his young wife Christine and their four-year-old son after the end of the Second World War.

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 Read reviewThe Amateur Science of Love

The Amateur Science of Love

Craig Sherborne

Colin dreams of escaping his parents' New Zealand farm for a grand stage career. He makes it to London and a disastrous audition before meeting Tilda; beautiful Tilda, older, an artist; who brings his future with her. A heady...

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 Read reviewPlayground

Playground

Nadia Wheatley, Ken Searle

With stunning photographs and illustrations, this book is a fascinating insight, from earliest times to today, into the experiences of Indigenous children, whose land was, and is, their playground.

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Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea

Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea

Stephanie Owen Reeder

This is an exciting tale of the courage of 16-year-old Grace Bussell, an ordinary teenage girl who is thrust into an extraordinary situation when a steamship runs aground near her home on the south-west coast of Australia in 1876....

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Mr Big of Bankstown: The Scandalous Fitzpatrick and Browne Affair

Mr Big of Bankstown: The Scandalous Fitzpatrick and Browne Affair

Andrew Moore

Corruption, violence and bribery, mixed with a healthy dose of larrikin charm,
Mr Big of Bankstown has it all. In 1955, Raymond Fitzpatrick, a rough-hewn, ill-educated Sydney businessman known in the media as Mr Big of Bankstown,...

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Sydney: The Making of a Public University

Sydney: The Making of a Public University

Julia Horne, Geoffrey Sherington, Roderic Campbell

Explores principle of public engagement, how it came into practice &shaped by succeeding generations. From staff, students, curriculum, to sports, philanthropy, faiths,research, Julia Horne &Geoffrey Sherington probe meaning of...

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Set in Stone: The Cell Block Theatre

Set in Stone: The Cell Block Theatre

Deborah Beck

Set in Stone is the fascinating story of how a derelict wing of Darlinghurst Gaol, home to Sydneys most notorious female criminals, became the Cell Block Theatre, the hub of Australia's avant-garde theatre, music and dance scene...

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Hiroshima Nagasaki

Hiroshima Nagasaki

Paul Ham

Nobody is more disturbed,' said President Truman, three days after the destruction of Nagasaki in 1945, 'over the use of the atomic bombs than I am, but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl...

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Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal People and the Australian Nation

Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal People and the Australian Nation

Russell McGregor

Offers a fresh interpretation of the complex relationship between Indigenous and settler Australians during the middle four decades of the twentieth century. Combining the perspectives of political, social and cultural history,...

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Violin Lessons

Violin Lessons

Arnold Zable

A young boy plays the violin for his mother in Melbourne. Nina Simone sings 'Pirate Jenny' in a bar in Berlin. A fisherman plays a flute on the Mekong. And the strains of Paganini resonate in the forests of eastern Poland.

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Moving Stories: An Intimate History of Four Women Across Two Countries

Moving Stories: An Intimate History of Four Women Across Two Countries

Alistair Thomson

An exploration of the lives of four British women who migrated to Australia during the 1960s and 70s. Skillfully combining oral history and biography, it tells the life stories of Phyllis, Gwen, Joan and Dorothy, illuminating the...

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The Enemy at Home: German Internees in World War I Australia

The Enemy at Home: German Internees in World War I Australia

Nadine Helmi, Gerhard Fischer

When nearly 7,000 people of German and Austrian heritage were detained by the Australian authorities following the outbreak of WW I, Paul Dubotzki, a Bavarian photographer, was among them. Here Dubotzki's rediscovered photographs...

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 Read reviewBungawitta

Bungawitta

Emily Rodda, Craig Smith

It's crunch time in Bungawitta. The land's as dry as a dead galah, no rain in sight, and only 12 people left in town. Nobody can make it rain. But a shower of money would help keep Bungawitta alive. A festival would attract city...

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 Read reviewAngel Creek

Angel Creek

Sally Rippin

Jelly is only happy up in the branches of the old apricot tree and by the creek at the back of the house. One night, Jelly and her cousins spot something in the creek's waters. It's a baby angel with a broken wing. They decide to...

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Maudie and Bear

Maudie and Bear

Jan Ormerod, Freya Blackwood

Maudie's world revolves around Maudie. Bear's world also revolves around Maudie - he is as patient and solid as a rock. Maudie is so confident of Bear's love she makes little effort to deserve it. Bear's remedy for loving Maudie...

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 Read reviewFor All Creatures

For All Creatures

Glenda Millard, Rebecca Cool

For all creatures -- the great and the small, the winged and the walking, the singing and the silent -- we are thankful. This second collaboration by the award-winning team of Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool is a celebration of...

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Taj and the Great Camel Trek

Taj and the Great Camel Trek

Rosanne Hawke

Beltana, South Australia, 1875: Twelve-year-old Taj and his camel Mustara are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. They are joining explorer Ernest Giles on his second attempt to cross the Australian desert. An...

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Crow Country

Crow Country

Kate Constable

When Sadie is tumbled back in time to view a terrible crime, she is pulled into a strange mystery. Can Sadie, Walter and Lachie figure out a way to right old wrongs, or will they be condemned to repeat them?

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 Read reviewFive Bells

Five Bells

Gail Jones

Four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water. But each of the four...

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The Argument

The Argument

Tracy Ryan

The unknowable is Tracy Ryan's terrain; these are poems of keen appraisal and survival demonstrating an extraordinary range and held tight by a cohesive vision. Each poem makes clear the poet's preoccupation with mortality. If the...

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 Read reviewSarah Thornhill

Sarah Thornhill

Kate Grenville

A new novel from Kate Grenville and a journey back to the Thornhill family of the bestselling The Secret River

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 Read reviewThe Life

The Life

Malcolm Knox

He looked into the Pacific and the Pacific looked back into him. The Life tells the story of former-world-champion Australian surfer, Dennis Keith, from inside the very heart of the fame and madness that is 'The Life'.

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The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays

The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays

Simon Leys

A new paperback edition of this essential collection of essays from an eminent critic. Simon Leys' cultural and political commentary has spanned four decades, with no corner of the arts escaping his sharp eye and acerbic wit.

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The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews: In Search of an Australian Anthropologist

The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews: In Search of an Australian Anthropologist

Martin Thomas

A timely and important re-evaluation of a pioneer in anthropology and Aboriginal studies: meticulously researched, beautifully written and convincingly argued.

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 Read reviewAll That I Am

All That I Am

Anna Funder

An award-winning author delivers an affecting and beautifully evocative debut novel, set in 1930's Europe and based on a true story, about a group of young German exiles who risk their lives to awaken the world to the terrifying...

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That Deadman Dance

That Deadman Dance

Kim Scott

That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and...

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 Read reviewThe Golden Day

The Golden Day

Ursula Dubosarsky

Today, girls, said Miss Renshaw, we shall go out into the beautiful garden and think about death. In the garden they meet a poet, who takes them to a cave at the nearby beach. The girls wait while the poet and Miss Renshaw...

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Cow

Cow

Susan Hawthorne

Cow leaps and flies into imaginative realms carrying mythology and language. Cow creates the universe, the galaxies and travels through the sky as a herd of stars. Cow writes love poetry and ponders lost histories. Susan...

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An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark

An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark

Mark McKenna

Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries. A...

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Act of Faith

Act of Faith

Kelly Gardiner

England, 1640. Sixteen-year-old Isabella is forced to flee her home when her father's radical ideas lead him into a suicidal stand against Oliver Cromwell's army. Taking refuge in Amsterdam and desperate to find a means to...

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The Dead I Know

The Dead I Know

Scot Gardner

Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep. He has dreams he can't explain, and memories he can't recover. Death doesn't scare him - his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn't discover the truth about his...

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 Read reviewHer Father's Daughter

Her Father’s Daughter

Alice Pung

At twenty-something, Alice is hungry for the milestones of young womanhood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. But with each step she takes away from home, she feels the sharp tug of...

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 Read reviewOnly Ever Always

Only Ever Always

Penni Russon

Only Ever Always is a beautifully crafted and emotionally intense novel that teases out the intriguing idea of the line between self and the material world.

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A Straight Line to My Heart

A Straight Line to My Heart

Bill Condon

A funny, poignant, heartwarming story of first love, first job, friends, family and the inevitability of change in the first summer out of school.

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Sly Mongoose for Albert Ayler

Sly Mongoose for Albert Ayler

Ken Bolton

In this book of poems the author deals with the vagaries of the Adelaide art-scene, the career of Cy Twombly, the Sydney of the 1920s, 40s and today.

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Sydney: Haunted City

Sydney: Haunted City

Delia Falconer

Sydney has always been the sexiest and most gaudy of our cities. This book twines the stories of the people that have made Sydney the twenty-first century city: mad clergymen, amateur astronomers, Indigenous weather experts, crims...

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New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

Gig Ryan

The emotional and social power of Gig Ryans poems have exerted an influence over two generations of readers, since the publication of her award-winning collection Division of Anger in 1981. A canonical figure in Australian poetry,...

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Southern Barbarians

Southern Barbarians

John Mateer

The Portuguese traders who brought Europe to Japan in the sixteenth century were known as southern barbarians. In his new collection John Mateer offers a contemporary re-charting of the Portuguese Empire. This empire is a fugitive...

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 Read reviewHow to Make Gravy

How to Make Gravy

Paul Kelly

Over four nights the author performed, in alphabetical order, one hundred of his songs from the previous three decades. In between songs he told stories about them. This title is based on those little tales. Each of its hundred...

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Swallow

Swallow

Potter, Claire

In Swallow, words move through space like actors crossing a bare stage. Claire Potter's debut collection of poetry offers a dramatic synergy between observation and feeling, set within the haunting shadows of the swallow's...

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