Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 2, 2020

2020 ABIA Longlist

The 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist was announced today.  To see the whole list, visit Theresa Smith Writes: what follows are the categories that include a book or two that I’ve reviewed…

Biography Book of The Year

  • Australia Day, Stan Grant (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Born-Again Blakfella, Jack Charles (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Gulpilil, Derek Rielly (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Penny Wong: Passion and Principle,  Margaret Simons (Black Inc., Black Inc.), see my review
  • Tell Me Why, Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster)
  • The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory, Corey White (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton)
  • When All is Said & Done, Neale Daniher, with Warwick Green (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Your Own Kind of Girl, Clare Bowditch (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

General Fiction Book of the Year

  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin), see my review
  • Call Me Evie, J.P. Pomare (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Cilka’s Journey, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing, Echo Publishing)
  • Good Girl, Bad Girl, Michael Robotham (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • Peace, Garry Disher (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Silver, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Wife and the Widow, Christian White (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Accidental Feminists, Jane Caro (Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne University Press), see my review
  • Against All Odds, Craig Challen and Richard Harris (Penguin Random House Australia, Viking)
  • Banking Bad, Adele Ferguson (HarperCollins Publishers, ABC Books)
  • Fake, Stephanie Wood (Penguin Random House Australia, Vintage Australia)
  • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life, Kitty Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc., Black Inc.)
  • The Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978, Helen Garner (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Troll Hunting, Ginger Gorman,  (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year (I’ve read all of these, except the one I don’t want to).

  • Damascus, Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Exploded View, Carrie Tiffany (Text Publishing, Text Publishing), see my review
  • Room for a Stranger, Melanie Cheng (Text Publishing, Text Publishing), see my review
  • The Drover’s Wife, Leah Purcell (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton), see my review
  • The Weekend, Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin), see my review
  • The Yield, Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House Australia, Hamish Hamilton), see my review
  • There Was Still Love, Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia), see my review
  • Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillan Australia, Picador Australia), see my review

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • Cosmic Chronicles, Fred Watson (NewSouth Publishing, NewSouth)
  • Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia, Darryl Jones (NewSouth Publishing NewSouth)
  • Invented Lives,  Andrea Goldsmith (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications), see my review
  • Kindred, Kirli Saunders (Magabala Books, Magabala Books)
  • Paris Savages, Katherine Johnson (Ventura Press, Ventura Press), see my review
  • Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing, Text Publishing), abandoned
  • Split, Lee Kofman (Ventura Press, Ventura Press)
  • The White Girl, Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press, University of Queensland Press), see my review

Ok, that’s it, 15 minutes at the computer is about my limit at the moment.


  1. Look at you with the literary nominations!! I have Damascus but I’m procrastinating.


    • That’s the one I don’t want to read. I don’t like Tsolkias anyway, and biblical rewrites are so not my thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay for Tara June Winch! I met her a couple of years back and she was so lovely.


    • Is the book available where you are? You could get a copy and read it for Indigenous Lit Week in July?
      I love the way the international reading community joins in Irish Week and Wales Week and German Week and every other week, but I’d really like to see more support for #IndigLitWeek…because reading the stories of First Nations is so important.


      • It’s being published in the UK on 2 June 😊


        • Great:)
          How do you find that out, Kim?

          Liked by 1 person

          • My UK Amazon account recommended it to me 😊


            • That’s amazing… Amazon recommends the weirdest titles for me..


      • I think I have a copy that Tara sent me (although that might be her last book). I’m sure I can order it and I’d love to take part in Indiginous Lit Week. Sounds like a plan!


  3. […] 2020 ABIA Longlist […]


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