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The 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Awards Shortlists

October 17, 2016 - 3:17pm


Today the Prime Minister and Arts Minister announced the 30 books by talented Australian authors that have been shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Titles like The World Repair Video Game, Waiting for the Past, Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life, Thea Astley: Inventing her own Weather, Adelaide's Secret World and Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01, are just a taste of the breadth of content, research and creativity in this year’s shortlisted books.

Now in their ninth year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards recognise the best of Australian writing in fiction, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult fiction, children’s fiction and poetry.

The 2016 shortlist features both well-known authors and newcomers. 


Forever Young, Steven Carroll

The Life of Houses, Lisa Gorton

The World Repair Video Game, David Ireland AM

Quicksand, Steve Toltz

The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood



Net Needle, Robert Adamson

Cocky’s Joy, Michael Farrell

The Hazards, Sarah Holland-Batt

Waiting for the Past, Les Murray AO

The Ladder, Simon West


Australian History

The Story of Australia's People. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia, Geoffrey Blainey AC

Let My People Go: The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89, Sam Lipski and Suzanne D Rutland

Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose, Peter Monteath and Valerie Munt

Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life, Doug Morrissey

The War with Germany: Volume III—The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, Robert Stevenson



Tom Roberts and the Art of Portraiture, Julie Cotter

On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics, Sheila Fitzpatrick

Thea Astley: Inventing her own Weather, Karen Lamb

Second Half First, Drusilla Modjeska

Island Home, Tim Winton


Children’s Fiction

Adelaide's Secret World, Elise Hurst

Sister Heart, Sally Morgan

Perfect, Danny Parker and Freya Blackwood

The Greatest Gatsby: A visual book of grammar, Tohby Riddle

Mr Huff, Anna Walker


Young Adult Fiction

Becoming Kirrali Lewis, Jane Harrison

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay

Inbetween Days, Vikki Wakefield

Green Valentine, Lili Wilkinson


Read the media release and visit for more information about the shortlisted books and to see the judges’ comments.

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