Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 20, 2008

Australia-Asia Literary Award Longlist 2008

This is the longlist for Australia’s richest literary prize, the $110,000 Australia-Asia Literary Award:

  • J.M. Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year, Publisher: Random House Group Ltd
  • Matthew Condon, The Trout Opera, Publisher: Random House (Vintage)
  • Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog, Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Ceridwen Dovey, Blood Kin, Publisher: Atlantic Books
  • Rodney Hall, Love Without Hope Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Publisher: Penguin
  • Mireille Juchau, Burning In, Giramondo Publishing
  • David Malouf, The Complete Stories, Publisher: Random House
  • Alex Miller, Landscape of Farewell, Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Haruki Murakami, After Dark, Translator: Jay Rubin, Publisher: Random House Group
  • Indra Sinha, Animal’s People, Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
  • Janette Turner Hospital, Orpheus Lost, Publisher: HarperCollins

(Links here are to my reviews).  I haven’t got round to reading Landscape of Farewell (and I should have because Alex Miller had ‘women of a certain age’ drooling in the aisles at the MWF), but I have read some of these – Orpheus Lost, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Love Without Hope, The Trout Opera, and The Lost Dog (about which the less said the better – such a shame because De Kretser was such a good writer before being “mentored” by Gail Jones i.e. encouraged to write pseudo-poetic indigestible sludge).

IMO if there is any justice in this literary world then The Trout Opera will win this prize.  It is  superb – one of those books that you can’t wait to get back to, but also want to string out as long as possible to savour the pleasure.

Mind you, I also loved Love Without Hope for its feisty heroine, The Reluctant Fundamentalist for its gripping theme, and Orpheus Lost for its challenging ideas.

Update: David Malouf won the prize for Collected Stories and I have since read and reviewed Landscape of Farewell (and loved it).

This prize is no longer awarded, due to penny-pinching in what is arguably Australia’s richest state, per capita.
Availabilty: Click the book covers
The Trout OperaOrpheus LostDavid Malouf: The Complete StoriesLandscape of FarewellThe Reluctant FundamentalistDiary of a Bad YearThe Lost DogBlood KinLove without HopeBurning inAfter DarkAnimal's People

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