2023 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) winners

25 May 2023

Horse, by United States based Australian author Geraldine Brooks, has been named winner of the 2023 Literary Fiction Book of the Year, at the ABIA awards this evening. Horse is a story that spans centuries, and explores the connection unrelated people share in a race horse:

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South, even as the nation reels towards war. An itinerant young artist who makes his name from paintings of the horse takes up arms for the Union and reconnects with the stallion and his groom on a perilous night far from the glamour of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse — one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor won the General Fiction Book of the Year category, while Wake by Shelley Burr won the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year.