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Dobbie Literary Award For women writers of a first published book of fiction or nonfiction classifiable as 'life writing'. Life writing for the purpose of this award includes novels, autobiography, biography, travel and other writing with a strong personal element.
Nita Dobbie (1904-1992) was raised by her aunt Nita Kibble after her mother's death. She worked as a librarian and research officer at the Standards Association for 33 years. Nita Dobbie established the 'Nita B. Kibble Literary Award' to advance Australian literature and to provide incentive to women writers.
The award is administered by Perpetual Trustees. A newspaper advertisement usually appears in November, applications close in December and the award is announced in May. The State Library provides a judge for the award.
Winner: Deborah Forster for The Book of Emmett
WINNER: Claire Thomas for Fugitive Blue
This is a beautifully written novel about the restoration of a small renaissance painting byanunknown artist,a painting distinguished bya patch of rare and expensiveultramarine pigment. As a young Melbourne conservator works to restore this fragment, finding her own truths in her contemporary life, possible stories of the painter and her tragic life begin to emerge, entwined with the hidden lives 0fthose who might have owned the picture since.
Intricately structured, written with originality and poise, and ranging from renaissance Venice to presentday Melbourne, 'Fugitive Blue' Is a novel about art, the fragility of love and transformation. The fresh and vivid images evoked by Claire Thomas resonate with the reader long after the novel is finished
Darleen Bungey for Arthur Boyd: a life
This is a biography of rare insight and passion. It delves deeply into Boyd's life, as well as his art, and offers new insights into both. Written with the intensity and complexity of a fine novel, 'Arthur Boyd: a life~ provides historical context and psychological authenticity in this comprehensive account of the artist's life and work.
Boyd comes alive in these pages, through his letters, his painting and his relationships with his family,
other painters and notables of the era -and of course, his deep and abiding relationship with the Australian bush. As well as bringing a fresh eye to the work, the biography describes an important historical period in Australian art and letters.
Toni Jordan for Addition
Tony Jordan's first novel tells the story of Grace Vandenburg, a woman who, at the age of eight, began to count. Now in her mid 30s, her life is governed by counting: numbers, time, and measurements. No longer is Grace able to hold down a job, but she invents a rich secret life,anddevelopsa vigorous relationship with a real man. At his suggestion, Grace goes to therapy to get to the bottom of her 'problem' and when that doesn't work, accepts the drugs as prescribed. This creates more problems than it solves. Finally,at crisis point, Grace takes control and begins to rebuild her life.
This novel is imaginative and thoughtful. Through Grace's voice Jordan expresses the depths of anxiety and trepidation; the heights of Just and joy, and the contrast between disappointment and triumph. 'Addition' questions whether the treatment can be worse than the cure, and the answer to that equation goes to the heart of what makes a person tick.
* 2008 - The Anatomy of Wings, Karen Foxlee
The Anatomy of Wings is a touching and funny novel by a fast-emerging Australian author who is catchingthe eyeof awards judges around the country and publishers internationally. Ten-year-old Jennifer Day lives in a small mining town full of secrets. Trying to make sense of the sudden death of her teenage sister Beth, she looks to the adult world around her for answers. As she recounts the final months of Beth's life, Jennifer sifts through the lies and the truth, but what she finds are mysteries, miracles and more questions. Was Beth's death an accident? Why couldn't Jennifer - or anyone else - save her? Through Jennifer's eyes, we see one girl's failure to cross the threshold into adulthood and her family slowly falling apart. In this award-winning novel, Karen Foxlee captures perfectly the essence of growing up in a small town and the complexities and absurdities of family life.
* 2007 - Swallow the Air, Tara June Winch* 2006 - Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, Carrie Tiffany