Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 11, 2014

2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

I am so very pleased to see some of the books I’ve loved on this shortlist!


Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey (Penguin)

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin)

The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw (Text Publishing)

Demons by Wayne Macauley (Text Publishing) See my review.

N  by John A. Scott (Brandl & Schlesinger) See my review.  (BTW John Scott has just won the $12,000 David Harold Tribe Fiction Award for his short piece Picasso: A Shorter Life. Which is excellent because I think he’s a great writer.)

To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin) See my review.


The Europeans in Australia: Volume Three: Nation by Alan Atkinson (NewSouth) See Yvonne’s review at Stumbling Through the Past.

Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen (Black Inc.) (See my review)

Darwin by Tess Lea (NewSouth)

Where Song Began by Tim Low (Penguin)

The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama by Julie Szego (Wild Dingo Press)

The Bush by Don Watson (Penguin)


Resplendence by Angus Cerini (Cerini/Doubletap)

Mayakovsky by Alison Croggon (Carriageworks/Sydney Chamber Opera)

The Long Way Home by Daniel Keene (STC)


Bed For All Who Come by Susan Bradley Smith (Five Islands Press)

The Beautiful Anxiety by Jill Jones (Puncher and Wattman)

Radiance by Andy Kissane (Punchman and Wattman)


Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin)

The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan)

The Protected by Claire Zorn (UQP)

Congratulations to all the authors, editors and publishers!


  1. Interesting shortlist/s. I have Henshaw’s The snow kimono on my TBR, having been to the launch a couple of months ago. I’ve read some positive reviews of the Hartnett.

    I’m also keen to read Don Watson’s The bush. Historian blogger Yvonne (whom I know you know) highly recommends Alan Atkinson’s book.


    • Thanks for the heads up about Yvonne’s review, I’ve added the linkJ

      I’ll try to scout around for some other reviews, but am so very, very tired tonight, I’m just going to have dinner and then veg out in front of something mindless on TV before an early night.

      Six (working) days to go…


      • Yes, I’ve been wondering how you’ve been going … very emotional time I bet. We have just got the next series of Downton Abbey and are watching that.


        • Emotional?
          I’m just physically exhausted from stocktaking 30,000 items and not even a parent volunteer to help. .


          • Oh .. Yes, that would be exhausting. You couldn’t rope in some Year 6s?


            • I’ve had some wonderful kids to help, but it’s not the same as having a trained parent volunteer who can fix cataloguing problems as they occur.
              But hey, it’s Friday, and it’s time to relax with a nice G&T and some more of Game of Thrones. My goodness, it’s a racy series…not my usual fare at all!


              • Oh yes, I understand …

                I haven’t got into Game of thrones so will have to take your word for that, but sometimes an escapist TV series is just the thing isn’t it?


  2. I hope The Golden Boys win, an intriguing story. The Snow Kimono and To Name those Lost, are also excellent reads. I didn’t like Demons. I am on the reserve list at the library for Only the Animals and The Bush and looking forward to reading them, as I have heard good reports about both.


    • Yes, I’d like to read the ones I haven’t seen yet too. I know what you mean about Demons, it’s very clever, and I found it interesting, but it seemed a bit sour to me.


  3. What a great fiction short list. I bought N just after your review, Lisa, and it’s still sitting on my TBR shelf… maybe it’s about time to get it down.


    • I loved N. I would be rapt if it won.


  4. So would I. N is one of my favourite books of the year and I don’t think it garnered even a fraction of the attention it deserved. It”s a different list to many of the others that have been generated this year- not a Flanagan in sight! Pleased to see the Watson – I borrowed it and began it but had to return it to the library unfinished because too much else was happening. He’s a beautiful, clean writer, as you would imagine with his other work on language. Atkinson is challenging and sees things from a very distinctive perspective.


    • I like Don Watson’s writing too. A gifted speech writer too…


  5. Thanks for the mention of my ‘not really a review’ :-) I really hope that Alan Atkinson’s book gets widely recognised.


    • Thank *you* for writing it. I must try to read more non-fiction!


      • You will find Atkinson’s book challenging. As always he does not play safe. He is a very independent thinker and for this reason his contribution to Australian history throughout his career has been significant.

        Likewise I’m reading more fiction as nonfiction has a lot to learn about writing from fiction. Just finished The Narrow Road to the Deep North. I’m actually thinking of reviewing it but having trouble getting time to write reviews at the moment.


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