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Australian Newcomer of the Year
Subcategory of Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA)
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Winners

2013 winner y separately published work icon The Light between Oceans M. L. Stedman , North Sydney : Vintage Books , 2012 Z1851119 2012 single work novel historical fiction

'This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same ...

'1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.

'One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.

'Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day - as the baby's real story unfolds...' (From the publisher's website.)

for The Light Between Oceans
2012 winner y separately published work icon Past the Shallows Favel Parrett , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2011 Z1763990 2011 single work novel 'Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman, on the south-east coast of Tasmania. With their mum dead, they are left to look after themselves. When Miles isn't helping out on the boat they explore the coast and Miles and his older brother, Joe, love to surf. Harry is afraid of the water. Everyday their dad battles the unpredictable ocean to make a living. He is a hard man, a bitter drinker who harbours a devastating secret that is destroying him. Unlike Joe, Harry and Miles are too young to leave home and so are forced to live under the dark cloud of their father's mood, trying to stay as invisible as possible whenever he is home. Harry, the youngest, is the most vulnerable and it seems he bears the brunt of his father's anger.' (From the publisher's website.)
2011 winner y separately published work icon The Happiest Refugee : The Extraordinary True Story of a Boy's Journey from Starvation at Sea to Becoming One of Australia's Best-Loved Comedians Anh Do , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2010 Z1720525 2010 single work autobiography

'Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing - not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days - could quench their desire to make a better life in the country they had dreamed about.

'Life in Australia was hard, an endless succession of back-breaking work, crowded rooms, ruthless landlords and make-do everything. But there was a loving extended family, and always friends and play and something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa and their sister Tram. Things got harder when their father left home when Anh was thirteen - they felt his loss very deeply and their mother struggled to support the family on her own. His mother's sacrifice was an inspiration to Anh and he worked hard during his teenage years to help her make ends meet, also managing to graduate high school and then university.

'Another inspiration was the comedian Anh met when he was about to sign on for a 60-hour a week corporate job. Anh asked how many hours he worked. "Four," the answer came back, and that was it. He was going to be a comedian! The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life story of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination - a big life with big dreams. Anh's story will move and amuse all who read it.' (From the publisher's website.)

2010 winner y separately published work icon Piano Lessons Anna Goldsworthy , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2009 Z1630787 2009 single work autobiography (taught in 2 units)

'In this remarkable memoir, Anna Goldsworthy recalls her first steps towards a life in music, from childhood piano lessons with a local jazz muso to international success as a concert pianist. As she discovers passion and ambition, and confronts doubt and disappointment, she learns about much more than tone and technique. This is a story of the getting of wisdom, tender and bittersweet.

'With wit and affection, Goldsworthy captures the hopes and uncertainties of youth, the fear and exhilaration of performing, and the complex bonds between teacher and student. An unforgettable cast of characters joins her: her family; her friends and rivals; and her teacher, Mrs Sivan, who inspires and challenges her in equal measure, and who transforms what seems an impossible dream into something real and sustaining.' (From the publisher's website.)

2009 winner y separately published work icon The Boat Nam Le , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2008 Z1495449 2008 selected work short story (taught in 42 units)

'In the magnificent opening story, "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," a young writer is urged by his friends to mine his father's experiences in Vietnam - and what seems at first a satire on turning one's life into literary commerce becomes a transcendent exploration of homeland, and the ties between father and son. "Cartagena" provides a visceral glimpse of life in Colombia as it enters the mind of a fourteen-year-old hit man facing the ultimate test. In "Meeting Elise" an ageing New York painter mourns his body's decline as he prepares to meet his daughter on the eve of her Carnegie Hall debut. And with graceful symmetry, the final, title story returns to Vietnam, to a fishing trawler crowded with refugees where a young woman's bond with a mother and her small son forces both women to a shattering decision.' (From the author's website.)

2008 winner y separately published work icon Secrets of the Red Lantern : Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart Pauline Nguyen , Sydney : Murdoch Books , 2007 Z1440602 2007 single work autobiography Secrets of the Red Lantern is both a memoir and a cook book, as it tells the story of the Nguyen family's flight from Vietnam as refugees and their resettlement in Sydney, as well as offering detailed recipes to classic Vietnamese dishes.
2007 winner y separately published work icon Unpolished Gem Unpolished Gem : My Mother, My Grandmother, and Me Alice Pung , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2006 Z1301370 2006 single work autobiography (taught in 6 units)

Unpolished Gem tells the story of growing up with a Chinese-Cambodian family in Australia, Alice dives headfirst into schooling, romance and the getting of wisdom. Meanwhile, her mother becomes an Aussie Battler - an outworker, that is, her father starts up a chain of electrical appliance stores, and her grandmother blesses Father Government every day for giving old people money. (Back cover blurb).


2006 winner y separately published work icon A Man's Got to Have a Hobby : Long Summers with My Dad William McInnes , Sydney : Hodder Headline , 2005 Z1206517 2005 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Reader's Digest Encounters : Real Life Reading 2007; (p. 438-574)
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