Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 29, 2019

2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards winners

It’s been a busy night tonight: I’d just finished my review of the latest Australian Foreign Affairs journal when the news came that Les Murray had died, and I’d just finished the obituary when the #NSWPLA Tweets came rolling in.  And it was the first night of the 2019 MasterChef season as well!

So this post is done in haste…


The 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced tonight: winners below (as harvested from Twitter) are highlighted in bold.

The Book of the Year was Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths, see Rebe Taylor’s review at the SMH

The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction

Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop, see Kate’s review at Books are My Favourite and Best
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser, see my review
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins, see my review
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane, see my review
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton – on my TBR , see Theresa’s review at Theresa Smith Writes

The Douglas Stewart prize for Non-Fiction

Saga Land by Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason, see Simon Caterson’s review at the SMH and Nancy’s at Nancy Elin’s BookBlog
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths, see Rebe Taylor’s review at the SMH
The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters and make sure you read Kate’s at Books Are My Favourite and Best as well.
Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
Tracker by Alexis Wright , see my review

The UTS Glenda Adams Prize for New Writing

Flames by Robbie Arnott, see my review
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums
Scrublands by Chris Hammer, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters
The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins, see my review
Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau, see Amanda’s review at Whispering Gums and Kim’s at Reading Matters
The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen, see my review

Multicultural NSW Award

The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad 
Rainforest by Eileen Chong  see Jonathan’s review at Me Fail? I Fly
Home is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire (see my review)
Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by Sisonke Msimang  see my review
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko , see my review
Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic, see my review

NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation

Harry Aveling – I’m barracking for him because I know him from my days as president of VILTA (the Victorian Indonesian Language Teachers Assoc)
Stephen Corcoran
Alison Entrekin
Penny Hueston (I’ve read three of her translations, see here).
Stephanie Smee
Omid Tofighian (highly commended)

Visit the awards website for all other categories.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

PS Thanks to Sue who alerted me to the fact that the Indigenous Prize is only awarded in alternate years.  Kim Scott’s Taboo won it last year. My excuse is (a) that I’m tired and (b) the awards website is confusing!


  1. Thanks so much for mention, Saga Land!
    I read 12 of the shortlisted books…and was thrilled
    by all the Aussie talent!


    • You’ve done well, Nancy… between the lot of us we are covering many more titles than we can do along:)


  2. My post is also scheduled for – soon – I’ve combined these awards and Les Murray into the one post.

    Thanks for the links. I’m afraid I’ve only listed the winners and, strangely, most of those I haven’t reviewed neither have you nor other bloggers! Interesting.


  3. I liked The Life to Come. A good pick as a winner.


    • I liked it too, but I would have liked The Everlasting Sunday to win something in one of the categories it was eligible for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That was a tougher read for me. I think having teenage sons altered my reading experience, I’m not sure, but The Everlasting Sunday was unsettling for me.


        • Ah yes, I can see that. Similar to a terrific book called Just-a-girl by Kirsten Krauth. It was one thing to read it and be shocked by the vulnerability of the girl because she naively put herself in harm’s way, and another thing entirely, I am sure, to read it as a parent of a girl in that age group.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I read a novel called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson when my daughter was 14. Similar feelings. It’s examples like this that lead me to believe that re-reading books is a good idea. Your own stage of life can no doubt greatly impact your reaction to the contents.


            • Yes, as with so many books, they not only mean different things to different readers, but the stage of life also matters too.

              Liked by 1 person

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