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Award for Fiction
Subcategory of Festival Awards for Literature (SA)
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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2012

winner y separately published work icon That Deadman Dance Kim Scott , Sydney : Picador , 2010 Z1728528 2010 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 43 units)

Big-hearted, moving and richly rewarding, That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers.

'The novel's hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. He is even welcomed into a prosperous local white family where he falls for the daughter, Christine, a beautiful young woman who sees no harm in a liaison with a native.

'But slowly - by design and by accident - things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. Stock mysteriously start to disappear; crops are destroyed; there are "accidents" and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. A friend to everyone, Bobby is forced to take sides: he must choose between the old world and the new, his ancestors and his new friends. Inexorably, he is drawn into a series of events that will forever change not just the colony but the future of Australia...' (From the publisher's website.)

Year: 2010

winner y separately published work icon Ransom David Malouf , North Sydney : Knopf Australia , 2009 Z1529380 2009 single work novel (taught in 20 units) 'With learning worn lightly and in his own lyrical language, David Malouf revisits Homer's Iliad. Focusing on the unbreakable bonds between men - Priam and Hector, Patroclus and Achilles, Priam and the cart-driver hired to retrieve Hector's body. Pride, grief, brutality, love and neighbourliness are explored.' (Publisher's blurb)

Year: 2008

winner y separately published work icon The Ballad of Desmond Kale Roger McDonald , Milsons Point : Vintage Australia , 2005 Z1222002 2005 single work novel historical fiction

In the first days of British settlement in Australia, Desmond Kale, an Irish political prisoner, escapes and disappears beyond the colony line, where rumour says he is thriving.

Year: 2006

winner y separately published work icon Sixty Lights Gail Jones , London : Harvill Press , 2004 Z1136231 2004 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 15 units)

'Sixty Lights is the captivating chronicle of Lucy Strange, an independent girl growing up in the Victorian world. From her childhood in Australia through to her adolescence in England and Bombay and finally to London, Lucy is fascinated by light and by the new photographic technology. Her perception of the world is passionate and moving, revealed in a series of frozen images captured in the camera of her mind's eye showing her feelings about love, life and loss. In this confident, finely woven and intricate novel Jones has created an unforgettable character in Lucy; visionary, gifted and exuberant, she touches the lives of all who know her.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2004

winner y separately published work icon Moral Hazard Moral Hazard : A Novel Kate Jennings , New York (City) : Fourth Estate , 2002 Z931717 2002 single work novel (taught in 1 units) 'A liberal young woman finds herself working for arrogant, greedy men on Wall Street while her beloved husband begins to suffer from the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease.' (Publication release) 
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