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Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

Founded by John Cain, the former Premier of Victoria , to mark the centenary of the births of Vance and Nettie Palmer - distinguished writers and critics who made significant contributions to Victorian and Australian literary culture.

The State Library of Victoria are keepers of the official site (quite easy to get around these days it is as well).

2010 Victorian Premiers Winners & Shortlists

The Prize for Indigenous Writing ($15,000)

Legacy | Ten Hail Marys |Hey Mum, What's a Half-Caste?

* Legacy by Larissa Behrendt - Winner
* Ten Hail Marys by Kate Howarth
* Hey Mum, What's a Half-Caste? by Lorraine McGee-Sippel

Parrot and Olivier in America |The Bath Fugues | Summertime |Jasper Jones| Truth

The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction ($30,000)

* Truth by Peter Temple -Winner
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
* The Bath Fugues by Brian Castro,
* Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
* Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction ($30,000)

Popeye Never Told You: Childhood Memories of the War | A Swindler's Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty | Captain Cook Was Here |Otherland | Reading by Moonlight

 

* Reading by Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life by Brenda Walker - Winner
* Popeye Never Told You: Childhood Memories of the War by Rodney Hall
* A Swindler's Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty by Kirsten McKenzie
* Captain Cook Was Here by Maria Nugent
* Otherland: A Journey With My Daughter by Maria Tumarkin

The Young Adult Fiction Prize ($15,000)

Raw Blue | Swerve | Beatle Meets Destiny

* Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar - Winner
* Swerve by Phillip Gwynne
* Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

Beneath Our ArmourThe CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry ($15,000)


* Possession by Anna Kerdijk Nicholson - Winner
* Beneath Our Armour by Peter Bakowski
* The Adoption Order by Ian McBryde

The Louis Esson Prize for Drama ($15,000)

* Moth by Declan Greene
* And No More Shall We Part by Tom Holloway - Winner
* Furious Mattress by Melissa Reeves

The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate ($15,000)

* 'Patriot Acts' by Waleed Aly, The Monthly
* 'Stupid Money' by Gideon Haigh, Griffith Review 25: After The Crisis
* 'Seeing Truganini' by David Hansen, Australian Book Review - Winner

The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer ($15,000)

* Winsome of Rangoon by Michelle Aung Thin
* House of Sticks by Peggy Frew
* Cambodia Darkness and Light by Andrew Nette

The John Curtin Prize for Journalism ($15,000)

-Winner * 'Who Killed Mr Ward?' by Janine Cohen and Liz Jackson, Four Corners, ABC Television
* 'Shutting Down Sharleen' by Eurydice Aroney and Tom Morton, Hindsight, ABC Radio National
* Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull by Annabel Crabb, Quarterly Essay

The Prize for First Book of History ($15,000)

Becoming African Americans: Black Public Life in Harlem, 1919-1939

* From Superwoman to Domestic Goddesses: the Rise and Fall oRethinking Antisemitism in Nineteenth-century Francef Feminism by Natasha Campo
* Becoming African Americans: Black Public Life in Harlem, 1919-1939 by Clare Corbould - Winner
* Rethinking Antisemitism in Nineteenth-Century France by Julie Kalman

2009 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

Rather than the publishers usual blurb we have included the judges report for each of the shortlisted titles for the benefit of our many interstate and international visitors for whom the Victorian Premier's Literary Prize may be unknown. Grateful thanks to the State Library of Victoria and the judging panels. Award Tragic blog comments

2009 Winner & Shortlists

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

2009 Winner & Shortlist The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction

Judges: Peter Mews (convenor), Antoni Jach and Jane Sullivan

Winner: The Slap The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas, (Allen & Unwin) - The most controversiabuy_from_fishpondl and the most talked-about book on this year’s list of entries, The Slap is a deeply Melbourne book which holds up a mirror toour multi-ethnic, fractured and complex society and reflects it back to us without the usual platitudes. While starting from the slightest ofpremises (a boy slapped at an iconic suburban barbecue), The Slap is an edgy, energetic and masterfully executed novel that emerges from the Zeitgeist and is not for the faint-hearted. Tsiolkas gets inside the consciousness of such a diverse range of characters with Balzacian verve and gusto; it is an urgent and necessary novel.

Other Shortlisted

The Pagesbuy_from_fishpondThe Pages, Murray Bail , (Text Publishing) - From the start of the opening sentence ('At dawn – what a word: the beginning of the world all over again – the two women set out from Sydney in a small car') to the last sentence ('We are philosophers; we cannot help being.'), readers are positioned in familiar Bailian territory in this ironic, quizzical, meditative tale, full of autumnal drollery, about a Bush philosopher painstakingly writing his masterpiece. It is a stylishly written novel, which further pursues Bail's career-long preoccupations with language, Australianness and Otherness. The Pages is a delightful novel which is as dry as the Murray and as Australian as a 'hay-bail' baking in the sun. More

Dog BoyDog Boy , Eva Hornung (Text Publishing) - An astonishingly sustainbuy_from_fishponded feat of imagination: a portrait from the inside of a four-year-old boy, abandoned by his family, who grows up with a pack of dogs and thinks of himself as a dog. Drawing from legend, the tradition of the Jungle Book and from contemporary stories of feral children in Moscow, Eva Hornung has created an altogether original and thrilling tale that exploreshow far a child can be drawn into a world of wholly alien sensibilities yet still remain human. Refusing to sentimentalise the dogs or demonise the humans, she challenges our most basic assumptions at every turn. More

The Boat The Boat, Nam Le, (Penguin) - Rarely do first short story collections appear with the buy_from_fishpondrange, versatility, power and mastery that are found in The Boat. In defiance of the old saw 'Write what you know', Nam Le brings us perspectives as various as an apprentice Colombian gangster; a boy uneasily coming of age in a coastal Australian town; the paranoia and wishful thinking of a young woman returning to Iran; and a girl in Hiroshima just before the bomb falls. In the bookending first and last stories, he depicts the Vietnamese 'boat people' experience with both an ironic, sly detachment and an engagement that wrenches the heart. More

Breath, Tim Winton, (Penguin) - Ostensibly a coming of age story, Breath is also a Breathmeditation on the extremes of human experience. At its core is the story of two boys, buy_from_fishpondPikelet and Loonie, who discover the intoxicating and addictive thrill of surfing while being encouraged by an older surfer, Sando, to push the boundaries of physical and mental courage. Breath is also an elegy to the sea, allowing the reader to vividly inhabit the excitement and the danger of the waves. It is a beautifully written novel showcasing in particular Winton’s skill in the evocation of both landscape (the darkness and the beauty of the coast) and emotion – the joy and terror of the boys’ experience. . More

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

2009 Winner & Shortlist The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction

Judges: Helen MacDonald (convenor), Waleed Aly, Chris McAuliffe, Brenda Niall and Sue Turnbull

Winner

The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm IslandThe Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island, Chloe Hooper, (Hamish Hamilton) - buy_from_fishpondEvery now and again there comes a book which might change how we think. Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man is such a book, affording an original perspective on the vexed topic of Aboriginal deaths in custody. Like Truman Capote with In Cold Blood or John Berendt with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Hooper’s starting point is a 'true crime', the death of Cameron Doomadgee. This event, involving real people, including the impossibly tall Detective Sergeant Chris Hurley, took place on Palm Island, site of a former Aboriginal mission 'where history is so close to the surface, so omnipresent it seems to run parallel with daily life'. Arriving as a journalist with a brief to cover the background to the case, Hooper ruminates on the consequences of the past for the present. Historical research and vivid reportage meld seamlessly in this book, which inevitably carries a powerful emotional charge.

Other Shortlisted
 
The City's Outback The City's Outback, Gillian Cowlishaw, (UNSW Press) - The City’s Outbackbuy_from_fishpond is a deeply satisfying reflective ethnography which demystifies that scholarly practice as it deftly illuminates the lives of people residing in a contemporary Aboriginal community in western Sydney. Cowlishaw reveals the complications of group identities and how – in the nitty gritty of living – individual people’s experiences inevitably overflow conventional ways of understanding them. She elegantly argues that Aboriginal people are too oftencategorised in ways that turn them into exhibits of the nation’s history, making a compelling case instead for their subjective experiences to be illuminated through ethnographies that focus on specifics: 'this violent father, those officials intervening, that foster parent's cruelty'. Cowlishaw then brings this concern with particularities to a persuasive discussion of more universal matters, showing how cultures shift and identities are made and mobilised. In the process, the people whom she presents to her readers emerge from the page in all of their complicated humanity. More

Arabesques Arabesques, Robert Dessaix (Picador) - To depict Arabesques as a travel memoir isbuy_from_fishpond taxonomically correct but inadequate to describe what Robert Dessaix has accomplished in this book. It is a work of rare beauty, richness and depth that offers readers far more than the vibrant characters and places that decorate its pages. Traversing diverse terrain from France to northern Africa, Dessaix's journey is more profoundly one of self-rediscovery through confrontation with the unfamiliar. The book is structured around his quest to follow the footsteps of French writer André Gide, who is the starting point for Dessaix’s examination of his own past and present. Along the way he reflects on writing, travelling, sexuality, human relationships and where lines are drawn in the sand. Exquisitely presented and superbly crafted as a literary work, Arabesques artfully engages many of life's enduring and gripping themes, of love, spirituality and truth. More

House of Exile: The Life and Times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroger-Mann, Evelyn Juers (Giramondo Publishing), House of Exile is a group biography with an extraordinary range. Radiating out from the life stories of Heinrich Mann (novelist brother of the more famous Thomas) and his staunch and spirited wife Nelly, it takes us on a journey with the Manns and other political exiles of the 1930s and 1940s. Intricately structured, brilliantly evocative of period and places from Berlin to Zurich, Paris, London and Los Angeles, it illuminates the struggles of Mann and other displaced intellectuals to maintain their creativity after their worlds had collapsed. For some, like Virginia Woolf, who is a vibrant presence in the story, Hitler’s war brought inner exile and despair. Others improvised, rebuilt, wrote, painted, survived. This is fascinating intellectual history, told with warmth, humour and inventiveness and full of surprising brief encounters which show Juers' imaginative power as well as her grasp of mundane realities within perilous times. More

Darwin's Armada: How Four Voyagers to Australasia Won the Battle for Evolution and Changed the WorldDarwin's Armada, Iain McCalman, (Viking) - In a year crowded with books on buy_from_fishpondDarwin, Darwin’s Armada captures the passion and the polemic that saw Darwin dubbed the greatest Englishman of the nineteenth century. McCalman traverses adventure on the high seas, the grinding discipline of scientific research and the heated controversies of Victorian society. Darwin's Armada is crewed by the unlikely heroes of evolutionary theory: beetle-browed Darwin is at the helm, supported by the earnest Joseph Hooker, the pugnacious Thomas Huxley and the gnomic Alfred Wallace. Charting the personal and professional partnerships behind the formulation of evolutionary theory, McCalman writes of scientific endeavour as quest. With a knowing wink at the Boy's Own papers of the era, he rediscovers Darwin's sense of adventure and ambition. This is science with sinew and soul. The physical struggle for discoveries in the field is matched by the fierce combat over evolutionary theory in scientific, political and religious circles at home. More

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


2009 Winner & Shortlist The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry

Judges: Claire Gaskin (convenor), Justin Clemens and Lisa Gorton

The Golden Bird: New and Selected Poems |Fishing in the Devonian | Other Way Out

Winner: The Golden Bird , Robert Adamson, (Black Inc) buy_from_fishpond

The new work in this collection shows remarkable craftsmanship. From the very beginningof the sequence, one knows one is in capable hands; Adamson never strikes a bum note. The poems are spare and fantastical, where strange birds fly from savage nature into the world of history and politics. Adamson creates a taut vernacular with an element of song, which pulses throughout the poems.

Other Shortlisted

Fishing in the Devonian , Carol Jenkins, (Puncher and Wattman) buy_from_fishpond

Fishing in the Devonian draws on astrophysics, palaeontology and suburban Australian life. Driving the idea of 'nature poetry' beyond its usual limits, Jenkins creates a stunning sequence of poems with an extraordinary power of defamiliarisation. From extinct species of fish to extinct species of fridge, Jenkins' wit and imagination is evident throughout. More

The Other Way Out , Bronwyn Lea, (Giramondo Publishing) buy_from_fishpond

Lea works and reworks traditional forms, bringing individuality and edginess, wit and longing to her verse. The poems are lucid yet surprising, consistent and seductive. The directness of Lea's voice balances intimacy with restrained technical experimentation. Wide-ranging in her allusions, Lea writes as well about love as about art, setting up dialogues between other writers, thinkers and her own life. More

2009 Shortlist The Prize for Science Writing

Winner
The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia The Rise of Animals: Evolution and Diversification of the Kingdom Animalia buy_from_fishpond
Patricia Vickers-Rich
(The Johns Hopkins University Press)

This masterful and beautifully presented account of the emergence of animal life travels through time and space to review the evidence, controversies and history of our past. The story weaves through colourful characters and exotic locations, from the Flinders Ranges in South Australia to the Russian tundra, from African deserts to frozen northern coastlines. Comprehensive and authoritative, this book neither skimps on scientific detail, nor skims over the complexities of the subject matter. Yet it remains engaging and accessible to its readers, bringing a wider audience to the fascinating subject of the rise of animals and what led to their successes and failures. The rise of animal life has arguably been one of the most significant events in earth's history. This book provides a fascinating range of views into that event, sharing the passions and opinions of the world's experts on the evidence with a broad audience. More

Other Shortlisted

Pasteur's GambitPasteur's Gambit, Stephen Dando-Collins, (Vintage) buy_from_fishpond

Dashing French scientists, devious politicians and international superstars - who could imagine that these would be the characters in a story about the Australian rabbit plague? Dando-Collins' engaging and lively book uncovers the fascinating account of Louis Pasteur's quest for £25,000 to cure Australia of its rabbit plague. Like a modern day Pied Piper, Pasteur leapt at the opportunity to solve his financial woes at the same time as solving Australia's agricultural ailments. And, at least on the surface, it appears that he may well have been able to succeed. But the bursars of the newly federated Australia, like the bursars of Hamelin, turned out to be not as keen on a cure as they were on being seen to be trying. Dando-Collins reveals the political intrigues, personalities and deceptions that so often beset the progress of science. We’ll never know now if Pasteur was right, but thanks to Dando-Collins' book, we do know that the path of scientific progress has never run true. And that the only real winners were the rabbits. More

Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency ActionClimate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action
David Spratt and Philip Sutton
(Scribe) buy_from_fishpond

Climate Code Red is an important book for our time. Compiling comprehensive and compelling evidence that climate change is advancing far more rapidly than previously thought, Spratt and Sutton call for urgent action. Climate Code Red documents both the rapidly changing science that our internationally brokered agreements struggle to keep pace with and the excruciatingly slow and ineffective process of government inaction, compromise and denial. After reading Climate Code Red, we can be in no doubt that we face a crisis point and that, without immediate drastic action, there is a strong probability that our climate and our planet will irrevocably change for the worse. This book makes for sober reading, all the more for its lack of spin and hyperbole. The carefully collated and presented evidence speaks for itself. We need to take action fast, if we are to safeguard our futures and this is the book to help us travel along that difficult path. More

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


2009 Winner & Shortlist The Prize for Young Adult Fiction

Judges: Clare Renner (convenor), Robert Corbet and Michael Panckridge

Something in the World Called Love Winner

Something in the World Called Love , Sue Saliba, (Penguin)

In Something in the World Called Love we meet Esma as she begins her search fbuy_from_fishpondor love by attempting to become someone new - someone who belongs. Her artless revelations form the basis of a compelling story, which is framed by the passing of the seasons; a structure that complements the fluid, organic nature of the text. This is a beautifully written, lyrical novel and throughout the free-flowing narrative, Saliba demonstrates an impressive mastery of language and nuance. A gentle but fiercely incisive writer, she captures the cruel insecurity of youth and the destructive power of emotional manipulation. Ostensibly about Esma’s search for love, this many-layered novel also explores the nature of private and public identity, moral choices and the vexed notion of loyalty. It shows that leaving is not always about betrayal and that love can be found in the most unexpected places. More

Other Shortlisted

The Two Pearls of WisdomThe Two Pearls of Wisdom , Alison Goodman, (HarperCollins) buy_from_fishpond

The Two Pearls of Wisdom is a sumptuous and breathtaking fantasy told through the eyes of Eon, a young candidate whose journey to become a Dragoneye is complicated by an astounding secret. Goodman's research into ancient Chinese lore, combined with her meticulous attention to detail, bring the treacherous world of the Emperor's court to life, and her superbly drawn characters perform against a backdrop of political and sexual intrigue. This is a ripping yarn where action and adventure abound, gender stereotypes are challenged and absolutely nothing can be taken for granted. The Two Pearls of Wisdom is a unique and wholly satisfying reading experience and, although a sequel is clearly heralded in the last pages, the judges feel that the novel stands on its own as a work to be recognised. More

The Beginner's Guide to Living

The Beginner's Guide to Living , Lia Hills, (Text Publishing) buy_from_fishpond

Lia Hills' debut novel is a moving account of grief, set around seventeen-year-old Will's attempts to come to terms with the sudden death of his mother. Isolated from his father and his older brother by his need to make sense of things, Will begins taking photos with his mother's camera, recalling childhood memories and recording his dreams. He searches for answers through exploring philosophy, love and sex, but everything inevitably becomes entangled with grief and Will has to keep searching to find a way of living with what has happened. He documents this turbulent time in a notebook, beginning with the question 'Why did she die?' and ending with a fragment of truth and acceptance. A brilliant new writer. More

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

2009 Winner & Shortlist The Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia

Judges: Robert Pascoe (convenor), Piero Genovesi and Adriana Nelli

Winner:
buy_from_fishpond
Death in the Mountains: The True Story of a Tuscan Murder Death in the Mountains,
Lisa Clifford, (Macmillan)

The world of the Italian peasant, hundreds of years in the making, is difficult to describe to the modern reader, as it is overlain with the memories and misconceptions that are mixed up in the migration process. In Death in the Mountains, Lisa Clifford intricately re-creates an almost forgotten world of a rural Italy, a world of peasant mezzadri (sharecroppers) governed by poverty, hard work, frugality and resourcefulness in which adversity is sometimes paradoxically mediated by both religion and superstition. The key factual events, particularly the murder of the family's paterfamilias, Artemio Bruni, are located within a vivid reconstruction of the occluded world inhabited by these mezzadri. The details are astonishingly good, based on careful interviews with the descendants of Artemio and Bruna and their contemporaries, now very old people living on the margins of an Italian region better known for its glamorous villas and majestic urbanscapes. By drawing readers into the world of the Italian mezzadro peasant the story of the Bruni family, Clifford provides insight into the values, attitudes and ways that helped define the Italian peasantry and which subsequently moulded the lives of Italians both in Australia and Italy. More

Other Shortlisted

Neither Here nor There: Italians and Swiss-Italians on the Walhalla Goldfield 1865-1915, Annamaria Davine , (Italian Australian Institute)

The bushfires of Black Saturday remind us how hard it is to make a living in the forests of Gippsland. In the 1939 bushfires the trevisani of Cooper's Creek were forced off the land and many, including the Grollos, came to Carlton. Annamaria Davine brings a closely grained understanding of this population to bear on some of the key debates in migration history. She argues that it is time to move on from the broad-brush push-and-pull analyses of an earlier generation of immigration historians and to concentrate on groups of real people, seen close up. Overall this is an excellent book that uses a specific small collectivity of Italian-speaking people on the white frontier to understand the big question of the extent to which this society was permeable for those who were not Anglo-Celts.

And Be Home Before Dark, Roland Rocchiccioli, (Hardie Grant Books)  buy_from_fishpond

And be Home Before Dark

An evocative autobiography/memoir of a childhood lived in the remote town of Gwalia in the goldfields of Western Australia where the Sons of Gwalia mine attracted workers from all different walks of life from around the world. Indeed the author creates an image of a place populated by an often transient population but at the same time of an inclusive community where ethnicity is itself an integral part of the landscape. It is a literary version of Paint Your Wagon – strangers come and go with no apparent pattern. Young Roland describes these people with the pop-eyed wonder of a young boy. It all ends when he goes to the city for schooling at 13. This book's open-endedness will resonate with many whose childhood contains unresolved mysteries. More

2009 Shortlist The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate

Winner: We Have Still Not Lived Long Enough
Tom Griffiths
(Inside Story)

Other shortlisted

The Henson Case
David Marr
(Text Publishing)

Ratbags at the Gates
Helen O'Neil
(Griffith Review)

The John Curtin Prize for Journalism

Winner:
The Penalty is Death: Inside Bali's Kerobokan Prison

Luke Davies
(The Monthly)

Other Shortlisted

The Guards' Story

Peter Cronau and Quentin McDermott
(Four Corners, ABC Television)

A Week in Kinglake
Michael Vincent
(ABC Radio)

The Prize for Best Music Theatre Script

Winner: Shane Warne The Musical
Eddie Perfect
(Token Events)

Other Shortlisted

Poor Boy
Matt Cameron and Tim Finn
(Melbourne Theatre Company/Currency Press)

Metro Street
Matthew Robinson
(Arts Asia Pacific, Power Arts and the State Theatre Company of South Australia)

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


2009 Shortlist The Louis Esson Prize for Drama

Realism
Paul Galloway
(Melbourne Theatre Company/Currency Press)

Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd
Lally Katz
(Malthouse Theatre)

The Modern International Dead
Damien Millar
(Griffin Theatre Company/Currency Press)

2009 Shortlist The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer

Sufficient Grace
Amy Espeseth

Like Being a Wife
Catherine Harris

The Sunlit Zone
Lisa Jacobson

2009| Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction | Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction | The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry | Prize for Science Writing | Young Adult Fiction | Grollo Ruzzene for Writing about Italians in Australia | Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate | The John Curtin Prize for Journalism | The Louis Esson Prize for Drama | Unpublished Manuscript | Best Music Theatre Script

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2008.

Fiction 2008 | Non-fiction 2008| Young Adult Fiction 2008 | Poetry 2008 | History | Indigenous Writing 2008 | Writing about Italians 2008| Journalism 2008| Unpublished Manuscript 2008| Essay| Drama 2008| Music Theatre Script 2008

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

THE PREMIER'S PICKS for 2008- Winners and Shortlists

2008 The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction

Diary of a Bad Year |The Spare Room | The Lost Dog |

The Spare Roomby Helen Garner -Winner

Diary of a Bad Year, JM Coetzee (Text Publishing)
The Lost Dog, Michelle de Kretser, (Allen & Unwin)

2008 The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction

The Ferocious Summer: Adelie Penguins and the Warming of Antarctica | Van Diemen's Land: A History | Napoleon: v. 1: The Path to Power 1769 - 1799 | Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks | Muck: A Memoir

The Ferocious Summer: Palmer's penguins and the warming of Antarcticaby Meredith Hooper- Winner

Van Diemen’s Land,
James Boyce, (Black Inc)
Napoleon, Philip Dwyer, (Allen & Unwin)
Detainee 002: The Case of David HicksLeigh Sales (Melbourne University Publishing)
Muck: A MemoirCraig Sherborne, (Black Inc)

Fiction 2008 | Non-fiction 2008| Young Adult Fiction 2008 | Poetry 2008 | History | Indigenous Writing 2008 | Writing about Italians 2008| Journalism 2008| Unpublished Manuscript 2008| Essay| Drama 2008| Music Theatre Script 2008

2008 The Prize for Young Adult Fiction

Tomorrow All Will be Beautiful | Solo | Pool

Tomorrow All Will Be Beautifulby Brigid Lowry- Winner

Solo, Alyssa Brugman, (Allen & Unwin)
Pool Justin D’Ath, (Ford Street Publishing)

2008 The C J Dennis Prize for Poetry

Press Release | Event |

Press Release by Lisa Gorton- Winner

EventJudith Bishop, (Salt Publishing)
As We Draw Ourselves, Barry Hill, (Five Islands Press)

2008 The Prize for a First Book of History

The Lamb Enters the Dreaming: Nathanael Pepper and the Ruptured World | Van Diemen's Land: A History | Pistols! Treason! Murder!: The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy

The Lamb Enters the Dreaming by Robert Kenny- Winner

Van Diemen’s Land, James Boyce, (Black Inc)
Pistols! Treason! Murder!: The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy, Jonathan Walker, (Melbourne University Publishing)

2008 The Prize for Indigenous Writing

Anonymous Premonition | Me, Antman and Fleabag | Fight for Liberty and Freedom: The Origins of  Australian Aboriginal Activism |

Anonymous Premonitions by Yvette Holt- Winner

Me, Antman and Fleabag, Gayle Kennedy, (University of Queensland Press)
Fight for Liberty and Freedom: The Origins of Australian Aboriginal Activism, John Maynard
(Aboriginal Studies Press)

Fiction 2008 | Non-fiction 2008| Young Adult Fiction 2008 | Poetry 2008 | History | Indigenous Writing 2008 | Writing about Italians 2008| Journalism 2008| Unpublished Manuscript 2008| Essay| Drama 2008| Music Theatre Script 2008

2008 The Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia

Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy | See Naples and Die

Head Over Heel by Chris Harrison- Winner

See Naples and Die, Penelope Green, (Hachette Australia)
Antonio’s Seed, Merry Watson, (Jeremiah’s Circle Publishing)

2008 The John Curtin Prize for Journalism

"Out of Control: The Tragedy of Tasmania’s Forests", Richard Flanagan (The Monthly)- Winner

'The Search for Edna Lavilla' Eurydice Aroney and Sharon Davis
(Radio Eye, ABC Radio National)

Shame Job: Circle of Abuse, Nick Farrow and Sarah Ferguson
(Sunday Program, Nine Network Australia)

Fiction 2008 | Non-fiction 2008| Young Adult Fiction 2008 | Poetry 2008 | History | Indigenous Writing 2008 | Writing about Italians 2008| Journalism 2008| Unpublished Manuscript 2008| Essay| Drama 2008| Music Theatre Script 2008

2008 The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer

Going Finish by Mandy Maroney - Winner

Conditions of Return, Daniel Ducrou
In Search of the Blue Tiger, Robert Power

2008 The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
'When the Rain Stops Falling', Andrew Bovell, (Brink Productions)- Winner


'The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table' Wesley Enoch, (Currency Press)
'Toy Symphony', Michael Gow (Belvoir Street Theatre)

2008 The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate

'Trapped in the Aboriginal Reality Show', Marcia Langton, (Griffith Review) -Winner


'Out of Control: The Tragedy of Tasmania’s Forests', Richard Flanagan, (The Monthly)
'Love and Money', Anne Manne (Quarterly Essay)
'The Exiled Child', Meera Atkinson, (Griffith Review)

2008 The Prize for Best Music Theatre Script

'The Wild Blue', Music, lyrics and book by Anthony Crowley - Winner
(St Martins Theatre)
Crossing Live

"The Hanging of Jean Lee' , Libretto by Jordie Albiston and Abe Pogos
Composed by Andrée Greenwell
Based upon the verse history by Jordie Albiston
(The Studio, Sydney Opera House)

Words by Matthew Saville
Music by Bryony Marks
(Chambermade)

Fiction 2008 | Non-fiction 2008| Young Adult Fiction 2008 | Poetry 2008 | History | Indigenous Writing 2008 | Writing about Italians 2008| Journalism 2008| Unpublished Manuscript 2008| Essay| Drama 2008| Music Theatre Script 2008

Victorian Premier's Literary Award Winners 2007


2007 Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction- Winner

Carpentaria

Carpentaria, Alexis Wright, Giramondowright_alexis

Judges report- Alexis Wright (right) , in Carpentaria, has created an epic centred on the town of Desperance, in the vast Gulf country of northwestern Queensland. Where lives are shaped and measured by the annual destructive cyclonic floods and the daily cleansing tides. At the novel’s heart is Norm Phantom, patriarch of his family and leader of the Pricklebush people.

Carpentaria demonstrates that Wright is an inventive writer of great reach. Indeed, it is almost audacious in its scope and ambition. In her marrying of the oral tradition with the written word Wright takes a bold stylistic risk, but it has paid off with a complicated net of stories coming vibrantly alive on the page. Wright has created a strong, confident and vivid voice with a healthy dose of sly humour

clode_danielleThe Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fictionvoyages_cover- Winner
Voyages to the South Seas: In Search of Terres Australes, Danielle Clode (left)
The Miegunyah Press/Melbourne University Publishing in association with the State Library of Victoria

Judges report- Danielle Clode's Voyages to the South Seas: In Search of Terres Australes utilises the creative and intellectual skills of the writer to tell the little-known story of the French exploration of, and engagement with, the Pacific landscape during the late 18th and early decades of the 19th century. This is both a scholarly and narrative-driven book that unfolds its history through the cast of real life characters who helped to form it.

The C J Dennis Prize for Poetry- Winner
jack_coverJack, Judy Johnson (right)- poets websitejohnson_judith
Pandanus Books

Judges report -The verse-novel is a genre that has become fashionable, but with varied degrees of success. Jack is one of the rare triumphs in this mode. The narrative is compelling, characters powerful, and the setting at once squalid and rich. The tension sustained here between a claustrophobic pearling lugger and the seductive tropical seas is unrelenting. And so, the reader is trapped.

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2007 Louis Esson Prize for Drama- Winner
'A Single Act' Jane Bodie
Melbourne Theatre Company

howell_simone2007 Prize for Young Adult Fiction- Winner
Notes from the Teenage Underground, Simmone Howell (left)
Pan Macmillan Australi

Judges report- Simmone Howell’s debut, Notes from the Teenage Underground,captures with near perfect pitch the edgy,wild voices and antics of three teenage girls, counter pointed by their bursts of anguish and despair. They intend to make their mark by creating a Warhol-inspired ‘happening’ and making an ‘underground’ (UG) movie. The book pays tribute to popular culture and the desire to be ‘cool’, as well as to the protagonists’ intellectual pursuits (movies and writing). Add sizzling wit and a sharp understanding of teenage concerns and we have a book equally attractive to boys and girls.

silent_deepThe Prize for Science Writing- Winner
The Silent Deep: The Discovery, Ecology and Conservation of the Deep Sea, Tony Koslow
University of New South Wales Press

Judges report- Tony Koslow, a deep sea ecologist, wonderfully chronicles the exploration of the deep sea and provides the reader with a current and remarkable view of arguably the last frontier on planet Earth. Beautifully illustrated with early scientific drawings and stunning colour photographs, Koslow’s clear writing brings the reader close to bizarre worlds, their incredible biodiversity and the impact that humans are having on them.

2007 Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia
Madonna of the Eucalypts, Karen Sparnon(Text Publishing) -

 
The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate
'The Writer in a Time of Terror', Frank Moorhouse Griffith Review

2007 Village Roadshow Prize for Screen Writing
The Tumbler, Chris Thompson
A Mondayitis/Ztudio production

2007 Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer
The Ghost Writer, Nick Gadd

The John Curtin Prize for Journalism
 
 
'Muslim Leader Blames Women for Sex Attacks' (plus associated stories),
Richard Kerbaj (The Australian)
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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards: Other short listed 2007

The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
The Time We Have Taken, Steven Carroll
(Fourth Estate/Harper Collins Australia)
Feather Man, Rhyll McMaster
(Brandl and Schlesinger)

The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction
Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1983-2006, Ken Inglis
(Black Inc)
Life Class: The Education of a Biographer,
Brenda Niall
(Melbourne University Press/Melbourne University Publishing)
Unpolished Gem Alice Pung
(Black Inc)
Writing Never Arrives Naked: Early Aboriginal Cultures of Writing
in Australia,Penny van Toorn
(Aboriginal Studies Press)

The C J Dennis Prize for Poetry

The Goldfinches of Baghdad, Robert Adamson
(Flood Editions)
Montale: A Biographical Anthology, John Watson
(Puncher & Wattman)

The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
A Single Act, Jane Bodie
(Melbourne Theatre Company)
Asylum
Kit Lazaroo
(La Mama/HereTheatre)
It Just Stopped
Stephen Sewell
(Malthouse Theatre)
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The Prize for Young Adult Fiction

Gravity, Scot Gardner
(Pan Macmillan)
Black Water, David Metzenthen
(Penguin Books Australia)

The Prize for Science Writing


Swimming in Stone: The Amazing Gogo Fossils of the Kimberley, John Long
(Fremantle Arts Centre Press)
Climate Change: Turning Up the Heat, A Barrie Pittock
(CSIRO Publishing)
 
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate

'The Exiled Chil'd, Meera Atkinson
(Griffith Review)
"Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia', Amanda Lohrey
(Quarterly Essay/Black Inc)
 

'White Guilt, Victimhood and the Quest for a Radical Centre', Noel Pearson
(Griffith Review)

The Village Roadshow Prize for Screen Writing
 

'Ten Empty', Brendan Cowell and Anthony Hayes
(Yeah Right/Dragonfly Pictures)
'The Home Song Stories', Tony Ayres
(Porchlight Films)

The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer

Dissection, Jacinta Halloran
The Wog Manual, Amra Pajalic

The Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia

Chewing Gum in Holy Water: Mario Valentini’s Childhood in the
Abruzzo MountainsCheryl Hardacre & Mario Valentini (Allen & Unwin)
The Grand Experiment: Two Boys, Two Cultures, Anouk Ride
(Hachette Livre Australia)

The John Curtin Prize for Journalism

'Hicks on Tria'l, Amanda Collinge and Jenny Brockie
(‘Insight’/SBS Television)
 
Cruising', Malcolm Knox
(The Monthly)
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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

Premier's Literary Award Winners 2006


The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
Theft: A Love Story
by Peter Carey
Knopf/Random House
The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction
Margaret Michaelis: Love, Loss and Photography
by Helen Ennis
National Gallery of Australia

urban_mythsThe C J Dennis Prize for Poetry
Urban Myths: 210 Poems
by John Tranter
University of Queensland Press

The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
'Three Furies: Scenes from the Life of Francis Bacon'
by Stephen Sewell
Adelaide Festival

The Prize for Young Adult Fiction
Theodora's Gift
by Ursula Dubosarsky
Penguin Books Australia
The Prize for a First Book of Historyhuman_remians_cover
Human Remains: Dissection and Its Histories
by Helen MacDonald
Melbourne University Publishing

The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate
'Is the Media Asleep? from Do Not Disturb: Is the Media Failing Australia?'
by David Marr
Black Inc

The Village Roadshow Prize for Screen Writin
g
'Noise'
by Matthew Saville
Retroactive Films

The Prize for Indigenous Writing

swallo_the_airSwallow the Air (Black Australian Writing)
by Tara June Winch
University of Queensland Press


The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer

Rohypnol
by Andrew Hutchinson


The Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia

When in Rome: Chasing La Dolce Vita
by Penelope Green
Hachette Livre Australia

The John Curtin Prize for Journalism

'Information Idol: How Google is Making Us Stupid'
by Gideon Haigh
The Monthly

'The Tall Man'
by Chloe Hooper
The Monthly

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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


Victorian Premier's Literary Awards: Winners 2005


The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
Surrender
by Sonya Hartnett
Viking/Penguin

The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction
Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev
by Robert Dessaix
Picador/Pan Macmillan

The C J Dennis Prize for Poetry
<More or Less Than 1-100>
by MTC Cronin
Shearsman Books

The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
'The Spook'
by Melissa Reeves
Company B. Belvoir St.
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astonishing_animals_cover
so_yesterday_coverThe Prize for Young Adult Fiction

So Yesterday
by Scott Westerfeld
Penguin Books Australia

The Prize for Science Writing

Astonishing Animals
by Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten
Text Publishing


The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate

Living in a Material World
by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Griffith Review


The Village Roadshow Prize for Screen Writing
'Revealing Gallipoli'
by Wain Fimeri
December Films

The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer
I Hate Martin Amis et al
by Peter Barry

The Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for Writing about Italians in Australia
A Spoonful of Zucchero
by Kate Taylor
Little Red Apple Publishing
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Premier's Literary Awards Winners 2004

The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
Slow Water
by Annamarie Jagose
Vintage/Random House

The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction
Car Wars: How the Car Won Our Hearts and Conquered Our Cities
by Graeme Davison
Allen & Unwin

The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry
Wolf Notes
by Judith Beveridge
Giramondo

The Louis Esson Prize for Drama
'Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America: A Drama in 30 Scenes'
by Stephen Sewell. Playbox/Currency

The Prize for Young Adult Fiction
Black Juice
by Margo Lanagan- Allen & Unwin

The Prize for Indigenous Writing
Her Sister’s Eye
by Vivienne Cleven
University of Queensland Press

The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate
'The Mood We Are In: Circa Australia Day 2004'
by Barry Hill
Overland Magazine

The Village Roadshow Prize for Screen Writing
Somersault
by Cate Shortland
Red Carpet Productions

The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer
Thai Died
by Angela Savage

The Prize for a First Book of History
Unearthed: The Aboriginal Tasmanians of Kangaroo Island
by Rebe Taylor
Wakefield Press
 
 
 
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction Winners 1985 to 2007 in brief
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2007
Carpentaria
Alexis Wright
Giramondo


2006
Theft: A Love Story
Peter Carey
Knopf/Random House


2005
Surrender
Sonya Hartnett
Viking/Penguin


2004
Slow Water
Annamarie Jagose
Vintage/Random House


2003
Shanghai Dancing
Brian Castro
Giramondo


2002
Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish
Richard Flanagan
Picador/Pan Macmillan Australia

2001
True History of the Kelly Gang
Peter Carey
University of Queensland Press

2000
Out of Ireland
Christopher Koch
Doubleday/Random House Australia

1999
Mr Darwin’s Shooter
Roger McDonald
Random House Australia

1998
The Sound of One Hand Clapping
by Richard Flanagan
Pan Macmillan

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1997
The Drowner
Robert Drewe
Pan Macmillan

1996
Camille’s Bread
Amanda Lohrey
HarperCollins

1995
Dark Places
Kate Grenville
Pan Macmillan

1994
What I Have Written
John A Scott
McPhee Gribble

1993
After China
Brian Castro
Allen & Unwin

1992
Double-wolf
Brian Castro
Allen & Unwin

1991
Still Murder
Finola Moorhead
Penguin Books

1990
Oceana Fine
Tom Flood
Allen & Unwin

1989
Captivity Captive
Rodney Hall
McPhee Gribble

1988
Holden’s Performance
Murray Bail
Penguin Books

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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home


1987
Second Sight
Janine Burke
Greenhouse

1986
Illywhacker
Peter Carey
University of Queensland Press

1985
Antipodes
David Malouf
Chatto & Windus


The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction Winners 1985-2007 in brief


2007

Voyages to the South Seas: In Search of Terres Australes
Danielle Clode
The Miegunyah Press/Melbourne University Pubishing


2006
Margaret Michaelis : Love, Loss and Photography
Helen Ennis
National Gallery of Australia

2005
Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev
Robert Dessaix
Picador/Pan Macmillan

2004
Car Wars: How the Car Won Our Hearts and Conquered Our Cities
Graeme Davison
Allen & Unwin

2003
Broken Song: TGH Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession
Barry Hill
Knopf/Random House

2002
The Boyds: A Family Biography
Brenda Niall
The Miegunyah Press at Melbourne University Press

2001

Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families 1800-2000
Anna Haebich
Fremantle Arts Centre Press


2000
The White
Adrian Caesar
Picador/Pan Macmillan

1999
M
Peter Robb
Duffy & Snellgrove

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

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1998
Romulus, My Father
Raimond Gaita
Text Publishing

1997
Midnight in Sicily
Peter Robb
Duffy and Snellgrove

1996
Hunters and Collectors
Tom Griffiths
Cambridge University Press

1995
Georgiana
Brenda Niall
The Miegunyah Press

1994
Lyrebird Rising
Jim Davidson
The Miegunyah Press

1993
Mr Bligh’s Bad Language
Greg Denning
Cambridge University Press

1992
Patrick White: A Life
David Marr
Random House

1991
Wild Card
Dorothy Hewett
McPhee Gribble

1990
The Sixpenny Soldier
Roland Griffiths-Marsh
Collins/Angus & Robertson

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1989
Paradise Lost and Found
Oskar Spate
Australian National University Press

1988
Louisa
Brian Matthews
McPhee Gribble

1987
Political Essays
Hugh Stretton
Cambridge University Press

1986
Evil Angels
John Bryson
Viking

1985
The Boy Adeodatus
Bernard Smith
Penguin Books

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2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 1987 - 2007 in brief | top | home

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