2014 Australian Book Industry Awards Shortlists Announced

Shortlists Announced

The 14th Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlists were announced this morning in Sydney, revealing a stellar list of nominees that includes 2013 Man Booker Prize-winner THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton for the inaugural International Book of the Year award and, for Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the multi-award-winning debut novel BURIAL RITESby Hannah Kent.

Literary Fiction Book of the Year is traditionally a hotly contended category and the competition has never been fiercer than in 2014. The other nominees are Tim Winton’s EYRIE, Christos Tsiolkas’ BARRACUDA, Richard Flanagan’s THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTHand Fiona McFarlane’s THE NIGHT GUEST. Full shortlists can be found in the following pages.

Another notable inclusion is Nikki Gemmell, writing as NJ Gemmell, nominated for Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years) for her children’s debut THE KENSINGTON REPTILARIUM. Graeme Simsion’s popular bestseller THE ROSIE PROJECT receives a nomination in General Fiction Book of the Year category.

“Our congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and their publishers,” said Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of the awards’ organising body the Australian Publishers Association. “It’s an accomplishment worth celebrating to have stood out among the best of Australian writing and publishing. Once again this year, Australia’s national book awards, the ABIAs, will be a showcase of great books that have won popular appeal, critical acclaim or commercial success.”

International bestseller Matthew Reilly, nominated in the General Fiction Book of the Year category for THE TOURNAMENT, said today: “I’m honoured and excited to see THE TOURNAMENT shortlisted. What I like about the ABIAs is that they are not just about the story of a given book, but rather about how well that book is published in its totality. That means the whole package: from the story to the cover design, to the marketing and to liaising with booksellers. THE TOURNAMENT, as something of a departure for me, posed some tricky problems for my publisher, Pan Macmillan, and for booksellers, and yet they came through with flying colours and made it the top-selling Australian fiction title for 2013.”

“Australians should know that our publishing industry is not only world-class, it is world-leading,” Mr Reilly continued. “I deal with publishers all around the world and I can tell you that Australian publishers beat them hands down. These awards celebrate that and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The shortlists represent Australia’s finest and most popular writers and industry personalities and have been compiled by a panel of more than 100 booksellers and publishers. The winners of the prestigious annual awards will be announced on Friday 23 May at a gala dinner, which will this year be hosted by award-winning satirist and musician Casey Bennetto, at Doltone House in Pyrmont, NSW.

The shortlists are:

International Book of the Year:

  • THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)
  • AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton (Granta Books)
  • HARD LUCK: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID by Jeff Kinney (Puffin)
  • I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai (Orion)

General Fiction Book of the Year:

  • ELIANNE by Judy Nunn (William Heinemann Australia)
  • WATCHING YOU by Michael Robotham (Sphere)
  • THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty (Macmillan Australia)
  • THE TOURNAMENT by Matthew Reilly (Macmillan Australia)
  • THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year:

  • BARRACUDA by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin)
  • EYRIE by Tim Winton (Hamish Hamilton)
  • THE NIGHT GUEST by Fiona McFarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
  • BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent (Picador Australia)
  • THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH by Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year:

  • THE GOOD LIFE by Hugh Mackay (Macmillan Australia)
  • ON THE TRAIL OF GENGHIS KHAN by Tim Cope (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • THE STALKING OF JULIA GILLARD by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
  • MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI by John Safran (Hamish Hamilton)

Illustrated Book of the Year:

  • THE FOOD OF VIETNAM by Luke Nguyen (Hardie Grant Books)
  • THE NEW CLASSICS by Donna Hay (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • LOVE ITALY by Guy Grossi (Lantern)
  • I QUIT SUGAR by Sarah Wilson (Macmillan Australia)
  • GURRUMUL by Gurrumul and Robert Hillman (ABC Books)

Biography of the Year:

  • A LONG WAY HOME by Saroo Brierley (Viking)
  • PONTING: AT THE CLOSE OF PLAYby Ricky Ponting (HarperSport)
  • NED KELLY: THE STORY OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST NOTORIOUS LEGEND by Peter FitzSimons (William Heinemann Australia)
  • THE CROSSROAD by Mark Donaldson, VC (Macmillan Australia)
  • MADNESS: A MEMOIR by Kate Richards (Viking)
  • EVERYTHING TO LIVE FOR: THE INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF TURIA PITT by Turia Pitt with Libby Harkness (William Heinemann Australia)

Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years):

  • THE VERY BRAVE BEAR by Nick Bland (Scholastic Press)
  • RULES OF SUMMER by Shaun Tan (Lothian Children’s Books)
  • THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Australia)
  • RUBY RED SHOES GOES TO PARIS by Kate Knapp (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY by Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Books)
  • KISSED BY THE MOON by Alison Lester (Viking)

Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years):

  • THE KENSINGTON REPTILARIUM by NJ Gemmell (Random House Australia Children’s)
  • WEIRDOby Anh Do (Scholastic Press)
  • ALICE-MIRANDA IN PARIS by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House Australia Children’s)
  • THE LAST THIRTEEN #1:13 by James Phelan (Scholastic Australia)
  • RANGER’S APPRENTICE 12: THE ROYAL RANGER by John Flanagan (Random House Australia Children’s


2014 ABIAs Guest Presenters Announcement!

Special Guest Presenters

We’re excited to reveal the guest presenters of the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Beloved and celebrated Australian novelist Thomas Keneally will be joined by some distinguished writers from the far flung corners of the globe to present awards. Eleanor Catton, Emma Donoghue, Cornelia Funke and Amy Tan are all in the country as the guests of the Sydney Writers Festival.

It is perhaps fitting that these writers who have extensive experience in winning awards should be so generously willing to present them. Between them, they have won two Man Booker Prizes, a Miles Franklin and an Audie, been selected for Time Magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People list and appeared on far too many shortlists to detail here.

On the subject of shortlists, New Zealand’s Eleanor Catton is nominated in our very own Literary Fiction Book of the Year category this year for her excellent novel THE LUMINARIES.

Emma Donoghue’s ROOM became an international sensation when it was published in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. Her latest FROG MUSIC is, ‘a multifaceted murder mystery set in San Francisco, 1876’

As a child, Cornelia Funke wanted to be an astronaut. Luckily for kids everywhere, she instead became a novelist, penning more than 40 books including the internationally acclaimed INKHEART fantasy trilogy. German-born Cornelia joins us from her home in the US.

Amy Tan is probably best known for THE JOY LUCK CLUB, the tale of four Chinese-American families in San Francisco who share their stories over a game of mah-jong, that was made into a hugely successful film. Amy has written numerous NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, two children’s books and many essays and short stories, and been translated into 35 languages along the way. She lives in California.

The multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer Thomas Keneally is an Australian household name and, as such, needs little introduction.

We are thrilled that Eleanor, Emma, Cornelia, Tom and Amy can join us at the newly reinvented 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards on Friday 23 May.


Award-winning satirist Casey Bennetto to host 14th Australian Book Industry Awards

Casey Bennetto to Host

The writer of hit musical KEATING!, award-winning satirist and musician, Casey Bennetto, will host the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs).

Casey Bennetto

Casey said today, “I’m rapt to be involved with the Australian Book Industry Awards – so rapt that I took the time to spell ‘rapt’ correctly. We’re talking about a night of festive colour and enchantment, a fabled engagement with the ‘book trade’ and its most illustrious denizens, a celebration of the many achievements that stud another banner year for Australian publishing. What’s not to be excited about? I plan to wear a spiffy suit and may even be moved to song for the occasion – but I encourage you to attend in spite of that.”

The multi-talented performer, whose dramaturgical credits include Eddie Perfect’s SHANE WARNE: THE MUSICAL and a contribution to Company B’s THE ADVENTURES OF SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE, recently wrote and recorded the score for hit ABC TV comedy LOWDOWN.

“We’re delighted to have Casey compere this year’s book awards,” said James Kellow, Chair of the ABIAs organising committee and Harper Collins Australia CEO. “If you like a little satire, a bit of singing and lots of laughs, then it promises to be a very entertaining night!”