The inaugural shortlist for The Most Underrated Book Award 2012 has just been announced.
This award is sponsored by Kobo and aims to shine a light on some of the fantastic titles released by independent publishers and members of the Small Press Network (SPUNC) that, for whatever reason, did not receive their fair dues. The winning publisher and author are each awarded with a Kobo Vox Tablet plus $250 book credit going to the winner novelist, and $1000 worth of book conversions going to the winning publisher.
Nominations (along with the judges' comments) are listed here:
I Hate Martin Amis et al. by Peter Barry (Transit Lounge): Witty and daring, the novel contains a disturbing and convincing narrator who demands complete belief in what should be an unbelievable plot. I Hate Martin Amis et al surprises and challenges.
Two Steps Forward by Irma Gold (Affirm Press): A lyrical and honest collection of short stories, Two Steps Forward offers many moments of beauty and sadness. The reader is provided with delicately-wrought portraits of those who struggle, fail and, sometimes, overcome.
The Dark Wet by Jess Huon (Giramondo): Via close attention to people and place, this collection of short stories reveals the relationships of its passionate and often reckless characters. The Dark Wet explores expectation and disillusion.
The Cook by Wayne Macauley (Text Publishing): Merciless satire fuels The Cook. The absorbing novel is funny while maintaining a strangely poignant tone. Questions regarding cultural complicity, spiritual poverty and popular obsessions tangle until its shocking end.
The winner will be announced at the opening of the Independent Publishing Conference during a special gala night and literary debate on 8 November at the Wheeler Centre.
For more information on the awards please visit here.