2008 in Australian literature

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The year 2008 in Australian literature involves some significant new books, drama, poetry and events.

For an overview of world literature see 2008 in literature.

See also: 2007 in Australian literature, 2008 in Australia, 2009 in Australian literature.

Events[edit]

  • "The Bulletin" magazine publishes its last issue, the first was in 1880[1]
  • The Australia Council for the Arts announces Christopher Koch and Gerald Murnane as recipients of its 2008 emeritus writers awards[2]
  • The Australian Federal Government announces funding for a new chair of Australian Literature based at the University of Western Australia[3]
  • Clunes, Victoria, holds its second Booktown weekend[4]
  • The first Crime and Justice Festival in held in Melbourne over the weekend of 19–20 July[5]
  • Australia wins the right to host the 2010 World SF convention in Melbourne[6]
  • A number of previously unknown Banjo Paterson poems are found in an old cash book dating back to the Boer War [7]
  • UNESCO names Melbourne as its second City of Literature, after Edinburgh received the first such award in 2004[8]
  • Caro Llewellyn, a former director of the Sydney Writers' Festival and PEN World Voices Festival in New York, is appointed as director of the new Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas (now called the Wheeler Centre) in Melbourne[9]

Major publications[edit]

Literary fiction[edit]

Children's and Young Adult fiction[edit]

  • The Stone Key - Isobelle Carmody
  • Always Mackenzie - Kate Constable
  • The Singing - Alison Croggon
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes - Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
  • A Rose for the Anzac Boys - Jackie French
  • Simpson and His Donkey - Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac
  • Money Run - Jack Heath
  • Everything Beautiful - Simone Howell
  • Genius Squad - Catherine Jinks
  • Somebody's Crying - Maureen McCarthy
  • Finnikin of the Rock - Melina Marchetta
  • The Case of the Diamond Shadow - Sophie Masson
  • The Indigo Girls - Penni Russon
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia - Shaun Tan
  • The (Not Quite) Perfect Boyfriend - Lili Wilkinson
  • Dust Devils - Sean Williams

Crime and Mystery[edit]

  • Open File - Peter Corris
  • Voodoo Doll - Leah Giarratano
  • Murder on a Midsummer Night - Kerry Greenwood
  • Murder on the Apricot Coast - Marion Halligan
  • Blood Sunset - Jarad W. Henry
  • The Darkest Hour - Katherine Howell
  • Bright Air - Barry Maitland
  • Fan Mail - P.D. Martin
  • Crooked - Camilla Nelson
  • The Tattooed Man - Alex Palmer
  • As Darkness Falls - Bronwyn Parry
  • Smoke and Mirrors - Kel Robertson
  • Shatter - Michael Robotham

Romance[edit]

  • The Stolen Princess - Anne Gracie
  • The Edge of Desire - Stephanie Laurens
  • The Heart Divided - Margaret Leigh
  • Burnt Sunshine - Estelle Pinney

Science Fiction and Fantasy[edit]

  • Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait - K.A. Bedford
  • Fivefold - Nathan Burrage
  • The Twisted Citadel - Sara Douglass
  • Incandescence - Greg Egan
  • The Chaos Crystal - Jennifer Fallon
  • Deep Water - Pamela Freeman
  • The Two Pearls of Wisdom - Alison Goodman
  • The Dragon Queens - Traci Harding
  • Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch - Simon Haynes
  • Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
  • Rogue Agent - Fiona McIntosh
  • Heir to Sevenwaters - Juliett Marillier
  • The Accidental Sorcerer - K.E. Mills
  • Earth Ascendent - Sean Williams

Drama[edit]

Poetry[edit]

See also 2008 in poetry

Non-fiction[edit]

Biographies[edit]

  • The Costello Memoirs - Peter Costello
  • A Family History of Smoking - Andrew Riemer

Awards and honours[edit]

Lifetime achievement[edit]

Award Author
Patrick White Award John Romeril

Fiction[edit]

International[edit]

Award Region Category Author Title Publisher
Commonwealth Writers' Prize SE Asia and South Pacific Best Novel Steven Carroll The Time We Have Taken Harper Collins
Best First Novel Karen Foxlee The Anatomy of Wings University of Queensland Press

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
ABC Fiction Award Kain Massin God for the Killing ABC Books
The Age Book of the Year Fiction Tim Winton Breath Hamish Hamilton
ALS Gold Medal Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog Allen & Unwin
Australia-Asia Literary Award David Malouf The Complete Stories Knopf
The Australian/Vogel Literary Award Andrew Cromme Document Z Allen and Unwin
Colin Roderick Award Malcolm Knox Jamaica Allen and Unwin
Barbara Jefferis Award Rhyll McMaster Feather Man Brandl and Schlesinger
Miles Franklin Award Steven Carroll The Time We Have Taken Harper Collins
Nita Kibble Literary Award Carol Lefevre Nights in the Asylum Vintage Books
Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction Steven Conte The Zookeeper's War Harper Collins
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Fiction Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog Allen & Unwin
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Fiction Helen Garner The Spare Room Text Publishing
South Australian Premier's Awards Fiction Roger McDonald The Ballad of Desmond Kale Vintage Books
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Fiction Helen Garner The Spare Room Text Publishing
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction Stephen Scourfield Other Country Allen & Unwin

Children and Young Adult[edit]

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Children's Book of the Year Award Older Readers Sonya Hartnett The Ghost's Child Viking Books
Younger Readers Carole Wilkinson Dragon Moon Black Dog Books
Picture Book Matt Ottley Requiem for a Beast Lothian
Early Childhood Aaron Blabey Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley Viking Books
Davitt Award Young Adult Novel Mandy Sayer The Night has a Thousand Eyes Fourth Estate
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Children's Li Cunxin and Anne Spudvilas The Peasant Prince Viking Books
Young People's James Roy Town University of Queensland Press
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Children's Li Cunxin and Anne Spudvilas The Peasant Prince Viking Books
Young Adult Matt Ottley Requiem for a Beast Lothian
South Australian Premier's Awards Children's Michael Gerard Bauer Don't Call Me Ishmael Omnibus Books
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Young Adult Fiction Brigid Lowry Tomorrow All Will Be Beautiful Allen and Unwin
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Children's Liz Lofthouse and Robert Ingpen Ziba Came on a Boat Viking Books
Writing for Young Adults Ken Spillman Love is a UFO Pan Macmillan

Crime and Mystery[edit]

National[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Davitt Award Novel Katherine Howell Frantic Pan Macmillan
Ned Kelly Award Novel Michael Robotham Shatter Sphere Books
First novel Chris Womersley The Low Road Scribe Publishing

Science Fiction[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
Aurealis Award SF Novel K.A. Bedford Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
SF Short Story Simon Brown "The Empire" Dreaming Again, Voyager
Fantasy Novel Alison Goodman The Two Pearls of Wisdom HarperCollins
Fantasy Short Story Cat Sparks "Sammarynda Deep" Paper Cities, Senses 5 Press
Horror Novel John Harwood The Seance Random House
Horror Short Story Kirstyn McDermott "Painlessness" Greatest Uncommon Denominator #2
Ditmar Award Novel Sean Williams Saturn Returns Orbit
Novella/Novelette Cat Sparks "Lady of Adestan" Orb #7
Short Story Rick Kennett "The Dark and What It Said" Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine" #28
Collected Work Jonathan Strahan ed. The New Space Opera HarperCollins
Russell B. Farr ed. Fantastic Wonder Stories Ticonderoga Publications

Non-Fiction[edit]

Award Category Author Title Publisher
The Age Book of the Year Non-fiction Don Watson American Journeys Random House
Children's Book of the Year Award Eve Pownall Award for Information Books Frances Watts, illus David Legge Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books ABC Books
Davitt Award True crime Janet Fife-Yeomans Killing Jodie Penguin Books
National Biography Award Philip Dwyer Napoleon: The Path To Power 1769-1799 Bloomsbury Publishing
Graham Seal These Few Lines: A Convict Story - The Lost Lives Of Myra & William Sykes ABC Books
Prime Minister's Literary Awards Non-fiction Philip Jones Ochre and Rust: Artefacts and Encounters on Australian Frontiers Wakefield Press
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Non-fiction Tom Griffiths Slicing the Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica University of New South Wales Press
New South Wales Premier's History Awards Australian History Paul Ham Vietnam: The Australian War Harper Collins
Community and Regional History Dianne Johnson, in collaboration with the residents of the Gully and their descendants Sacred Waters: the story of the Blue Mountains Gully Traditional Owners Halstead Press
General History Michael A. McDonnell The Politics of War: Race, Class and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia University of North Carolina Press
Young People's Robert Lewis and Tim Gurry Australians in the Vietnam War Ryebuck Media Pty Ltd
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Non-fiction Craig Sherborne Muck Black Inc
History Professor Marilyn Lake and Professor Henry Reynolds Drawing the Global Colour Line Melbourne University Press
South Australian Premier's Awards Non-fiction Jacob G. Rosenberg Sunrise West Brandl and Schlesinger
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Non-fiction Meredith Hooper The Ferocious Summer: Palmer's

Penguins and the Warming of Antarctica

Allen & Unwin
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Non-fiction Antonio Buti Sir Ronald Wilson: A Matter of Conscience University of Western Australia Press
Western Australian history Ruth Marchant James Cottesloe: A Town of Distinction Town of Cottesloe

Poetry[edit]

Award Author Title Publisher
The Age Book of the Year J. S. Harry Not Finding Wittgenstein Giramondo Publishing
New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kathryn Lomer Two Kinds of Silence University of Queensland Press
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards David Malouf Typewriter Music University of Queensland Press
Victorian Premier's Literary Award Lisa Gorton Press Giramondo Publishing
Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Hal Colebatch The Light River Connorcourt Publishing

Deaths[edit]

  • 11 January - Nancy Phelan, author (born 1913)
  • 27 March - Alan Collins, short story writer (born 1928)
  • 8 April - John Button, politician and author (born 1933)
  • 26 April - Pamela Bone, journalist and author (born 1940)
  • 29 April - John Hooker, author (born 1932)
  • 21 June - Justina Williams, poet (born 1916)
  • 24 August - Patricia Rolfe, short story writer and critic (born 1920)
  • 30 October - Jacob G. Rosenberg, poet and memoirist (born 1922)
  • 15 November - Ivan Southall, children's author (born 1921)
  • 10 December - Dorothy Porter, poet (born 1954)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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