Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 19, 2009

Tall Man and Good Parents win NSW Premier’s Prize

Tall ManThe Age today is reporting (on page 4!) that Chloe Hooper has won the $40,000 NSW Premier’s Non-Fiction Prize for The Tall Man.  Deservedly so.  With courage and an open mind, The Tall Man dissects the circumstances behind the brutal death of Cameron Doomadgee, the riot that followed it on Palm Island, and the trial and acquittal of police officer Chris Hurley, for his murder.     I would like to see this book on Year 12 reading lists around the country…

Melbourne writers seem to have scooped the pool in these awards because Nam Le’s The Boat  won the $10,000 Book of the Year Award and the $5000 Prize for New Writing.

I wonder why the non-fiction prize is worth four times as much as the fiction prize?  It’s not as if non-fiction needs promoting more than fiction does; and it doesn’t take any more time to write.  And if (as I hope it is) the purpose of these prizes is in part to provide funding for our best writers to take time to write, then surely fiction writers should get the same amount?

PS, a little later the same morning.

An email from Jenny at ANZLL, has alerted me to the fact that Joan London has won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.  Now why didn’t The Age report that? The Good Parents is a wonderful book and this award is long overdue recognition.  I am delighted it has won.


  1. Hi Lisa
    The Christina Stead prize for fiction is also worth $40,000. This is considerably more when compared to the Best Book being awarded the lesser sum of $10,000.
    The two childrens awards are wortha princely $30,000.



    • Yes, I hadn’t twigged from The Age report (which completely ignored the fiction award) that the fiction prize was something separate. It’s curious: I wonder how they work them out? Lisa


  2. And Steve Toltz won the People’s Choice Award for A fraction of the whole! (A new award this year to commemorate the Awards’ 30th anniversary). I have spent my day updating WIkipedia!


    • Well I’m amazed that there were so many people who actually finished it LOL Lisa


  3. Well, Joan London is West Australian isn’t she?? LOL. I am reading the Toltz now for my f2f next Tuesday – I’m rather liking it but it will be a race to the finish!

    I have no idea how they work them out and why there are such wildly different amounts – one could think different sponsors but if that’s the case why are they called The Premier’s Awards?? Hmmm..


    • *chuckle* ooh we are so parochial over here in the eastern states!


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