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Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year
Subcategory of Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA)
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Winners

2021 winner y separately published work icon The Animals in that Country Laura McKay , Melbourne : Scribe , 2020 18465113 2020 single work novel fantasy

'Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, and allergic to bullshit, Jean is not your usual grandma. She’s never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. And although Jean talks to all her charges, she has a particular soft spot for a young dingo called Sue.

'Then one day, disturbing news arrives of a pandemic sweeping the country. This is no ordinary flu: its chief symptom is that its victims begin to understand the language of animals — first mammals, then birds and insects, too. But as the flu progresses, the unstoppable voices become overwhelming, and many people begin to lose their minds.

'When Jean’s infected son, Lee, takes off with Kimberly, heading south, Jean feels the pull to follow her kin. Setting off on their trail, with Sue the dingo riding shotgun, they find themselves in a stark, strange world in which the animal apocalypse has only further isolated people from other species.

'Bold, exhilarating, and wholly original, The Animals in That Country asks what it means to be human — and what would happen, for better or worse, if we finally understood what animals were saying.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia Anita Heiss (editor), Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2018 12263094 2018 anthology life story autobiography Indigenous story

'What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in order to answer that question. Each account reveals, to some degree, the impacts of invasion and colonisation – on language, on country, on ways of life, and on how people are treated daily in the community, the education system, the workplace and friendship groups.

'Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning coastal and desert regions, cities and remote communities. All of them speak to the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.

'This groundbreaking anthology aims to enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today.' (Publication Summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon All Fall Down Matthew Condon , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2015 8929883 2015 single work biography crime

'The gripping finale to Three Crooked Kings and Jacks and Jokers brings to a close Matthew Condon's best-selling true-crime trilogy.

'In 1983, the soon-to-be-knighted Police Commissioner Terry Lewis continues to turn a blind eye to the operation of The Joke, a highly organised system of graft payments from illegal gambling, prostitution and illicit drugs. As the tentacles of this fraudulent vice network spread, the fabric holding together the police, judiciary and political system starts to unravel. All Fall Down offers an unprecedented insight into the Fitzgerald Inquiry and Lewis's subsequent years in prison, and explores the real story behind the dramatic exit of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Drawing from interviews with key players who have, until now, been afraid to speak publicly, All Fall Down celebrates the bravery of those unsung heroes who risked everything to expose the truth.

'This epic trilogy provides the definitive account of an unforgettable period in Queensland's history. The devastating consequences of those decades of corruption still reverberate today.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon Diary of a Foreign Minister Bob Carr , Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2014 7265417 2014 single work autobiography diary

'Six years after vacating his position as the longest-serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr returned to politics in his dream job: as Foreign Minister of Australia and a senior federal cabinet minister.

'For 18 months he kept a diary documenting a whirl of high-stakes events on the world stage – the election of Australia to the UN Security Council, the war in Syria and meetings with the most powerful people on the planet. And they all unfold against the gripping, uncertain domestic backdrop of Labor Party infighting, plummeting polls and a leadership change from Gillard back to Rudd.

'This compelling diary provides an intimate glimpse into the day-to-day workings of a foreign minister and proves that Carr is not only a master politician and statesman, but a great writer as well.' (Publication summary)

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