Showing all posts tagged: Australian literature

Tilda Cobham-Hervey cast as Esme in The Dictionary of Lost Words play

19 September 2023

The Dictionary Of Lost Words show poster

Adelaide based Australian actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey will take the lead role of Esme, in the stage adaptation of The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on the 2020 novel of the same name, written by Australian author Pip Williams.

Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the British city of Oxford, The Dictionary of Lost Words is a fictionalised recounting of the story behind the publication of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Spanning several decades, the story is narrated by Esme, the daughter of one of the dictionary’s lexicographers.

Last November, the State Theatre Company of South Australia announced they were working with Jessica Arthur to bring Williams’ novel to the stage, which opens on Friday 22 September 2023, in the South Australian capital. After a three week season, the show moves to Sydney, for a season of about seven weeks at Sydney Opera House, from Thursday 26 October 2023.

Cobham-Hervey is both a screen and stage actor. Past film credits include 52 Tuesdays, Hotel Mumbai, and I Am Woman, while previous stage roles include Things I Know to Be True and Vale.


, , ,

Kinky History, a book by Esme Louise James

19 September 2023

Kinky History by Esme Louise James, book cover

Book cover of Kinky History, by Esmé Louise James.

Tuesday 3 October 2023 promises to be a red letter day for devotees of kinks, fetishes, and spicy sex, for that is the day Kinky History, by Melbourne based Australian writer Esmé Louise James will be published. For those thinking Kinky History has a familiar ring to it, James’ book takes its title from the well kown series of the same name that she presents on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

Kinky History draws on Esmé Louise James’s phenomenally successful series on TikTok, which explores scandalous stories in the ancient world and the saucy secrets of famous figures. Teaming up with her statistician mother, Dr Susan James, the pair have surveyed the nation for all of your intimate secrets — and the results are in. By placing the past in conversation with the present, we’ll explore five ‘kinks’ that challenge our thinking about sex. How has the idea of sin shaped our sex lives? Why is masturbation so taboo? Where are our hidden queer histories? How do kinks and fetishes play with the idea of sex? And why does pornography have so much power over us?


, ,

Alexis Wright wins 2023 Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award

18 September 2023

Australian author Alexis Wright, a past winner of both the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and the Stella Prize, has been awarded the 2023 Creative Australia (formerly the Australia Council) Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature:

Alexis is an author of ground-breaking works across a number of literary genres. She is a highly decorated and awarded author who writes extraordinarily important work that sits in your consciousness. Her novels interpret the past, present, and future tense and challenge the readers’ comprehension. She has changed how we think about the meaning of storytelling and time.

Creative Australia awards were also presented for music, dance, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre, and community arts and cultural development.


, ,

Looking After Country With Fire wins 2023 Karajira Award

8 September 2023

Looking After Country With Fire, book cover

Book cover of Looking After Country With Fire, by Victor Steffensen.

Looking After Country With Fire, published by Hardie Grant in 2022, written by Indigenous Australian writer and filmmaker Victor Steffensen, and illustrated by Far North Queensland based visual arts teacher Sandra Steffensen, has won the 2023 Karajira Award for Children’s Literature.

Presented by the Wilderness Society, the Karajira Award celebrates excellence in children’s literature by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island authors and/or illustrators, who honour connection to Country and tell stories exploring land, community, culture, and language.

Looking After Country With Fire explores methods and systems of fire management used by Indigenous Australians, over thousands of years, to manage, and regenerate the land:

Mother Nature has a language. If we listen, and read the signs in the land, we can understand it. For thousands of years, First Nations people have listened and responded to the land and made friends with fire, using this knowledge to encourage plants and seeds to flourish, and creating beautiful places for both animals and people to live.


, , , ,

The 2023 Banjo Prize shortlist for unpublished Australian fiction

7 September 2023

The shortlist for the 2023 Banjo Prize, for unpublished Australian fiction, was announced on Tuesday 5 September 2023, and includes the manuscripts of five writers:

The winner of the prize, which is presented annually by HarperCollins Australia, will have the opportunity to see their work published. The winner will be named on Tuesday 26 September 2023.


, , ,

The Conversion, a new book by Amanda Lohrey, past Miles Franklin winner

6 September 2023

The Conversion by Amanda Lohrey, book cover

Book cover of The Conversion, by Amanda Lohrey.

Tasmanian based Australian author, and winner of the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Amanda Lohrey, has written a new novel, The Conversion, which will be published by Text Publishing, in October 2023. The story follows a couple, Zoe and Nick, who set about converting a deconsecrated church into a home:

The conversion was Nick’s idea, but it’s Zoe who’s here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church. What to do with all that vertical space, those oppressive stained-glass windows? Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be?

To date, The Labyrinth, winner of the aforementioned Miles Franklin prize, is the only of Lohrey’s books I’ve read. It was an utterly compelling read though, and I’m looking forward to The Conversion, and possibly even seeing it among nominations for the 2024 Miles Franklin.


, , ,

The 2023 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award shortlist

5 September 2023

The 2023 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award shortlist was announced yesterday, Monday 4 September 2023, and consists of the following six titles:

First presented in 2002, and also referred to as the Nib Award, the prize honours excellence in literary research, be they works fiction or non-fiction. Past recipients include Helen Garner and Andrew Tink. The 2023 winner, along with this year’s people choice award, will be announced in just over two months time, on Thursday 9 November 2023.


, ,

2023 Davitt Award for crime and mystery writing winners

5 September 2023

The winners of the annual Davitt Awards for crime and mystery writing were announced in Melbourne on Saturday 2 September 2023.

All That’s Left Unsaid, the debut novel of Sydney based author Tracey Lien, won the Best Adult Novel award. Seven Days by Fleur Ferris won the Best Young Adult Novel prize, while The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat by Charlie Archbold, won the Best Children’s Novel Award.

In other categories, Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor won the Debut award, and Out of the Ashes by Megan Norris won the Best Non-Fiction Book. Meanwhile The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis, was chosen as the People’s Choice winner for 2023.



2023 Ned Kelly Australian crime writing award winners

1 September 2023

Exiles by Jane Harper bookcover

Book cover of Exiles, written by Jane Harper.

Exiles by Melbourne based Australian author Jane Harper, published by Pan Macmillan Australia, has been named winner in the best crime fiction category of the 2023 Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime writing. Written in 2022, Exiles tells the story of an investigation into the disappearance of a woman from a small community in South Australia:

At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother having vanished into the crowds.

A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family.

Aaron Falk, federal investigator, is joining the celebrations. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems. As hidden truths slowly emerge, Falk faces the darkest of questions.

In other award categories Wake, by Shelley Burr won in the Best Debut crime fiction, Betrayed, by Sandi Logan won in Best True Crime, while The Lemon Man, by Dublin based Irish writer Keith Bruton, won the Best International Crime prize.

Named for one of Australia’s best known outlaws, the 2023 Ned Kelly Awards attracted over one hundred and sixty entries, an increase over last year.

Karina Kilmore, chair of the Australian Crime Writers Association which presents the awards, stressed the importance of the role of literary prizes in supporting authors, particularly in light of the threat artificial intelligence technologies (AI) pose. Kilmore said as things stand, AI will do away with the human elements of creativity in all forms of story-telling.


, ,

Entries for 2024 Stella Prize for Australian literature now open

26 August 2023

It seems like only last week the winner of the 2023 Stella Prize — Sarah Holland-Batt with her poetry collection The Jaquarwas announced, when in fact that happened four months ago.

The year is marching on.

Entries are now open for the 2024 prize, but only for about the next month and a half. There are a few cut-off dates for submissions, but Friday 13 October 2023 is the final day an entry can be made.


, , ,