2006 in Australian literature

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The year 2006 in Australian literature involves some significant new books, drama, poetry and events.

For an overview of world literature see 2006 in literature.

See also: 2005 in Australian literature, 2006 in Australia, 2007 in Australian literature.

Events[edit]

  • South African born Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee takes up Australian citizenship[1]
  • Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, complains about the modern school English syllabus, stating that it is being "dumbed down"[2]
  • Peter Carey's ex-wife, Alison Summers, takes a swipe at the author, accusing him of using his fiction to settle some old scores. She refers to a minor character in Carey's novel Theft: A Love Story (called The Plaintiff) and announces she is also writing a novel, titled Mrs Jekyll[3]
  • the ABC board decides against publishing the new Chris Masters book Jonestown, an unauthorised biography of Alan Jones, a Sydney radio presenter[4]
  • the Australian Classification Review Board bans two radical Islamic books, prompting calls from the Australian Attorney-General for the Board to provide with even tougher laws[5]
  • a large treasure trove of missing papers belonging to Patrick White is revealed to the public. Contrary to the wishes expressed in White's will, his literary executor, Barbara Mobbs, did not destroy the material but kept it and has since offered it to the National Library of Australia[6]

Major publications[edit]

Literary fiction[edit]

Children's and Young Adult fiction[edit]

Crime and Mystery[edit]

  • Undertow – Sydney Bauer
  • Final Impact - John Birmingham
  • Better Dead Than Never – Laurent Boulanger
  • The Lady Splash – Kirsty Brooks
  • Inspector Anders and the Blood VendettaMarshall Browne
  • Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn - Marshall Browne
  • Blood On A Blue Line – Steve Caple
  • The CleanerPaul Cleave
  • The Undertow – Peter Corris
  • Without Consent – Kathryn Fox
  • Prismatic – Edwina Grey
  • Vale Byron Bay – Wayne Grogan
  • The Apricot Colonel - Marion Halligan
  • Frantic - Katherine Howell
  • Diamond Dove – Adrian Hyland
  • Carnies – Martin Livings
  • Spider TrapBarry Maitland
  • The Murderers’ Club – P.D. Martin
  • The Betrayal of Bindi Mackenzie – Jaclyn Moriaty
  • HitTara Moss
  • Dead Set - Kel Robinson
  • A Knife Edge – David Rollins
  • Behind the Night BazaarAngela Savage
  • The Curer of Souls – Lindsay Simpson
  • Upshot – John Trigger
  • Equinox – Michael White

Romance[edit]

Science Fiction and Fantasy[edit]

Drama[edit]

  • The Rumour - Jane Malone
  • Holding the Man - Tommy Murphy
  • The Peach Season - Debra Oswald
  • It Just Stopped - Stephen Sewell

Poetry[edit]

  • The Goldfinches of Baghdad - Robert Adamson
  • The Passenger - Laurie Duggan
  • All the Time in the World - Dennis Haskell
  • Jack - Judy Johnson
  • Earthly Delights - S.K. Kelen
  • Phosphorescence - Graeme Miles
  • The Biplane Houses - Les Murray
  • A Difficult Faith - Mark Reid
  • The City of Empty Rooms - Thomas Shapcott
  • Urban Myths: 210 Poems - John Tranter
  • First Names - Simon West
  • Picnic - Fay Zwicky

Non-fiction[edit]

  • Back from the Brink: How Australia's Landscape Can Be Saved - Peter Andrews
  • The Gods of Freud:Sigmund Freud's Art Collection - Janine Burke
  • The Great War - Les Carlyon
  • Packer's Lunch - Neil Chenoweth
  • Agamemnon's Kiss - Inga Clendinnen
  • Colonial Ambition: Foundations of Australian Democracy - Peter Cochrane
  • Arthur Tange: The Last of the Mandarins - Peter Edwards
  • Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1983-2006 - Ken Inglis
  • Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century - Justine Larbalestier

Biographies[edit]

  • Rob Riley: an Aboriginal Leader's Quest for Justice - Quentin Beresford
  • Days Like These - Michael Gurr
  • Things I Didn't Know - Robert Hughes
  • Learning to Dance - Elizabeth Jolley & Caroline Lurie
  • Ida Leeson: A Life - Sylvia Martin
  • Jonestown: The Power and the Myth of Alan Jones - Chris Masters
  • Unpolished Gem - Alice Pung

Awards and honours[edit]

Lifetime achievement[edit]

Award Author
Patrick White Award Morris Lurie

Fiction[edit]

International[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Novel Kate Grenville The Secret River Text Publishing

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
ABC Fiction Award Will Elliott The Pilo Family Circus ABC Books
The Age Book of the Year Fiction Christos Tsiolkas Dead Europe Vintage
ALS Gold Medal Gregory Day The Patron Saint of Eels Picador
The Australian/Vogel Literary Award Belinda Castles The River Baptists Allen and Unwin
Colin Roderick Award Peter Temple The Broken Shore Text Publishing
Miles Franklin Award Roger McDonald The Ballad of Desmond Kale Vintage
Nita Kibble Literary Award Brenda Walker The Wing of Night Viking Press
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Fiction Kate Grenville The Secret River Text Publishing
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Fiction Brian Castro The Garden Book Giramondo Publishing
South Australian Premier's Awards Fiction Gail Jones Sixty Lights Harvill Press
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Fiction Peter Carey Theft: A Love Story Knopf
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction Carrie Tiffany Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living Picador

Children and Young Adult[edit]

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Children's Book of the Year Award Older Readers J.C. Burke The Story of Tom Brennan Random House
Younger Readers Elizabeth Fensham Helicopter Man Bloomsbury Press
Picture Book Colin Thompson The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley Lothian
Early Childhood Deborah Niland Annie's Chair Viking Books
Davitt Award Young Adult Catherine Jinks Evil Genius Allen and Unwin
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Children's Kierin Meehan In the Monkey Forest Penguin Books
Young People's Ursula Dubosarsky Theodora's Gift Penguin Books
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Children's Martine Murray The Slightly Bruised Glory of Cedar B. Hartley Allen & Unwin
Young Adult Ursula Dubosarsky The Red Shoe Allen & Unwin
South Australian Premier's Awards Children's Barry Jonsberg It's Not All About you, Calma! Allen & Unwin
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Young Adult Fiction Ursula Dubosarsky Theodora's Gift Penguin Books
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Writing for Young Adults Kirsty Murray A Prayer for Blue Delaney Allen & Unwin
Children's Wendy Binks Where's Stripey? Stunned Emu Press

Crime and Mystery[edit]

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Davitt Award Novel Heather Rose The Butterfly Man University of Queensland Press
Ned Kelly Award Novel Chris Nyst Crook as Rookwood HarperCollins
Peter Temple The Broken Shore Text Publishing
First novel Wendy James Out of the Silence Random House

Science Fiction[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Aurealis Award Novel Damien Broderick K-Machines Thunder's Mouth Press
Short Story Sean Williams The Seventh Letter "Bulletin" Magazine, Summer Reading Edition
Ditmar Award Novel Sean Williams & Shane Dix Geodesica: Ascent HarperCollins
Novella/Novelette Kaaron Warren "The Grinding House" The Grinding House
Short Story Kaaron Warren "Fresh Young Widow" The Grinding House
Collected Work Robert Hood & Robin Pen Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales Agog! Press
Australian Shadows Award Will Elliott The Pilo Family Circus ABC Books

Non-Fiction[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
The Age Book of the Year Non-Fiction Mandy Sayer Velocity Vintage Books
National Biography Award John Hughes The Idea of Home: Autobiographical Essays Giramondo Publishing
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Non-Fiction Jacob G. Rosenberg East of Time Brandl & Schlesinger
New South Wales Premier's History Awards Australian History Richard Broome Aboriginal Victorians: A History Since 1800 Allen & Unwin
Community and Regional History Maria Nugent Botany Bay: Where Histories Meet Allen & Unwin
General History R J B Bosworth Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship 1915-1945 Penguin Books
Young People's Pamela Freeman The Black Dress: Mary MacKillop’s Early Years Black Dog Books
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Non-fiction Neil Chenoweth Packer's Lunch: A Rollicking Tale of Swiss Bank Accounts and Money-Making Allen & Unwin
History Peter Edwards Arthur Tange: The Last of the Mandarins Allen & Unwin
South Australian Premier's Awards Non-fiction Mandy Sayer Velocity Vintage Books
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Non-fiction Helen Ennis Margaret Michaelis: Love, Loss and Photography National Gallery of Australia

Poetry[edit]

Award Author Title Publisher
The Age Book of the Year Jennifer Maiden Friendly Fire Giramondo Publishing
Grace Leven Prize for Poetry Alan Gould The Past Completes Me: Selected Poems 1973-2003 University of Queensland Press
Mary Gilmore Prize David McCooey Blister Pack Salt Publishing
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Jaya Savige Latecomers University of Queensland Press
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards John Kinsella The New Arcadia Fremantle Arts Centre Press
Victorian Premier's Literary Award John Tranter Urban Myths: 210 Poems University of Queensland Press
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Rod Moran The Paradoxes of Water: Selected and New Poems, 1970-2005 Salt Publishing

Deaths[edit]

  • 12 January - Rae Sexton (born 1936)
  • 16 March - Michael Dugan (born 1947)
  • 14 April - Geoffrey Bewley (born 1947)
  • 6 July - Lisa Bellear (born 1961)
  • 10 July - Vera Newsome (born 1912)
  • 16 August - Alex Buzo (born 1944)
  • 4 September - Colin Thiele (born 1920)
  • 22 September - Joy Williams (born 1942)
  • 3 October - Gwen Meredith (born 1907)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Note: all references relating to awards can, or should be, found on the relevant award's page.