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'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
or Mark and Evette Moran Nib Award for Literature

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'The Nib': Waverley Library Award for Literature was established in 2002. It is organised and supported by Waverley Council, with generous support from the Friends of Waverley Library and other community partners.

The award recognises excellence in literary research, and the winning book may be in any genre, and either non-fiction or fiction. The award provides a cash prize to the winner, with each of the shortlisted authors getting a smaller cash reward along with the Alex Buzo Prize.

In 2017, the Nib was renamed the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Award for Literature. In addition to the main award, it included three other categories: the People's Choice, the Alex Buzo shortlisted prize, and a Military History Prize.

Source: Sighted: 3/12/2013.

Winners (also see subcategories)v1587

2016 winner y separately published work icon A Long Time Coming : Essays on Old Age Melanie Joosten , Fremantle : Vivid Publishing , 2016 9029520 2016 selected work essay

'This collection of thought-provoking essays explores what it means to grow old in our youth-obsessed world.

'Improved health care and increased standards of living mean that each generation is living longer than the last. Rather than heralding this as a success, governments see our ageing population as an imminent disaster and old age as a medical problem. In response, we are encouraged to remain active, stay healthy and work longer — in short, to refuse becoming old. But if living longer is really about staying young, do we risk turning a blind eye to issues facing the elderly?

'Written with intelligence and compassion, Joosten’s pieces consider the housing crisis as it affects older people, the politics of nursing-home care, the realities of dementia, and women’s changing relationship to their bodies as they age. Weaving interviews with research and personal essay, Joosten undertakes a timely and clearsighted investigation into what it means to age in a world focused on the young. Arguing that every one of us has the right to be old while maintaining integrity, these essays ask us to reconsider our individual and collective experiences to find meaning and come to terms with growing old.' (Publication summary)

People's Choice Award.
2015 winner Mark Dapin or The Nashos’ War: Australia’s National Servicemen and Vietnam
2015 winner y separately published work icon Acute Misfortune : The Life and Death of Adam Cullen Erik Jensen , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2014 7880297 2014 single work biography

'An unflinching portrait of talent and addiction.

'In 2008 the artist Adam Cullen invited journalist Erik Jensen to stay in his spare room and write his biography.

'What followed were four years of intense honesty and a relationship that became increasingly claustrophobic. At one point Cullen shot Jensen, in part to see how committed he was to the book. At another, he threw Jensen from a speeding motorbike. The book contract Cullen used to convince Jensen to stay with him never existed.

'Acute Misfortune is a riveting account of the life and death of one of Australia's most celebrated artists, the man behind the Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham. Jensen follows Cullen through drug deals and periods of deep self-reflection, onwards into his court appearance for weapons possession and finally his death in 2012 at the age of forty-six. The story is by turns tender and horrifying: a spare tale of art, sex, drugs and childhood, told at close quarters and without judgement.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka Clare Wright , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 6594747 2013 single work biography

'The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia’s foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.

'What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?

'As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.

'Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important—The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.' (Publisher's blurb)

2013 winner y separately published work icon On Warne Gideon Haigh , Melbourne : Penguin , 2012 Z1896563 2012 single work biography

'Who doesn't know the name Shane Warne?

Now that the Australian cricketer who dominated airwaves and headlines for twenty years has turned full-time celebrity and media event, his sporting conquests and controversies are receding steadily into the past.

But what was it like to watch Warne at his long peak, the man of a thousand international wickets, the incarnation of Australian audacity and cheek? Our leading cricket writer, Gideon Haigh, lived and loved the Warne era, when the impossible was everyday, and the sensational every other day.

In On Warne, he relives the era's highs, its lows, its fun and its follies. Drawing on interviews conducted with Warne over the course of a decade, and two decades of watching him play, Haigh assesses this greatest of sportsmen as cricketer, character, comrade, newsmaker and national figure – a natural in an increasingly regimented time, a simplifier in a growingly complicated world. The result is one of the finest cricket books ever written, a whole new way of looking at its subject, at sport, and at Australia.

One day, you might be asked what cricket in the time of Warne was like. On Warne is the definitive account.' Source: (Sighted 24/10/2012).

2011 winner y separately published work icon Sydney Delia Falconer , Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2010 Z1729705 2010 single work prose (taught in 3 units) 'Sydney has always been the sexiest and most gaudy of our cities. In this book, the third in a series in which leading Australian authors write about their hometowns, novelist Delia Falconer conjures up its sandstone, humidity, and jacarandas. But she goes beyond these to find a far more complex city: beautiful, violent, half-wild, and at times deeply spiritual. It is a slightly unreal place, haunted by a past that it has never quite grasped, or come to terms with. Here, in her first non-fiction book, she proves herself an adept memoirist. She twines the stories of the people that have made Sydney the twenty-first century city it is today. Mad clergymen, amateur astronomers, Indigenous weather experts, crims and victims, photographers and artists: their stories are surprising, funny, and moving.' (From the publisher's website.)
2010 winner y separately published work icon William Charles Wentworth : Australia's Greatest Native Son Andrew Tink , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1610493 2009 single work biography
2009 winner y separately published work icon The Land I Came Through Last Robert Gray , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2008 Z1522938 2008 single work autobiography From the author's Preface: 'This book was meant to be mainly about my parents, although I and others have obtruded within it, and was intended neither to vindicate nor vilify them, but to retain a sense of them as they were...It seems to me that memory must be as we find it, pragmatically: something that can usually be relied upon. To deny this, in principle, is to deny there is a distinction between fantasy and empirical fact.' (p.1)
2008 winner y separately published work icon The Memory Room Christopher Koch , Milsons Point : Vintage Books , 2007 Z1438763 2007 single work novel (taught in 1 units) Vincent Austin thinks his devotion to secrecy for its own sake makes him a born spy. His childhood friend Erika Lange shares his fascination with the covert. Having graduated University Vincent is recruited by ASIS - Australia's overseas secret intelligence service. Erika eventually joins Foreign Affairs as a press officer. As the Cold War reaches its final peak, the fantasies of youth have become reality for Vincent and Erika, but they lead to a tragic climax. It is left to Vincent's university friend Bradley, who inherits Vincent's diaries, to contemplate their story. - from Back cover.
2007 winner y separately published work icon Mr Stuart's Track : The Forgotten Life of Australia's Greatest Explorer John Bailey , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2006 Z1288936 2006 single work biography 'On 14 May 1858, an expedition of discovery led by John McDouall Stuart departed from a copper mine located on the very edge of the known world in the North Flinders Ranges. The Australian continent stretched for another 2,000 kilometres to the north and 2,500 to the west and no white man had the slightest idea of what was there. It was to be the first of six expeditions mounted by Stuart, then aged 42, as he sought to uncover the mysteries of the interior and forge a path to the north. Ultimately he was to become part of a race across the continent, his rivals being the Burke and Wills expedition. In the end Stuart was to be the first European to cross Australia from south to north and return again, as the cumbersome expedition of Burke and Wills turned from farce to tragedy. Yet his hero's homecoming was to be short lived. Mr Stuart's Track is a fascinating study of a loner, an explorer of no fixed abode, who battled alcoholism and ill health to push himself to the limits of endurance in crossing straight through the red centre to the northern seas.' (Publisher's blurb)
2005 winner y separately published work icon Joe Cinque's Consolation Helen Garner , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2004 Z1132428 2004 single work prose (taught in 26 units)

'In October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests - most of them university students - had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder. Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as 'evil'; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.' (Source: Pan Macmillan website)

Garner takes 'a deliberately subjective and "literary" approach' to her material with an 'emphasis on a sympatheitic authorial persona as the source of the reader's perspective' (Susan Lever 'The Crimes of the Past: Anna Funder's Stasiland and Helen Garner's Joe Cinque's Consolation'. Paper delivered at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) conference 2006).


2003 winner y separately published work icon Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill , Milsons Point London : Knopf , 2002 Z980577 2002 single work biography

'A group of men…chanting with the enthusiasm that made them forget age & weakness & becoming young again in spirit…the rising and falling of the chant melody, like the breathing that gives us life – what an unforgettable scene!’ Thus wrote T. G. H. Strehlow in 1935, as he began his life work, Songs of Central Australia, acclaimed as one of the great books of world literature. Prize-winning poet and historian, Barry Hill, with exclusive access to Strehlow’s diaries, has written a major work about the troubled man who grew up on the Hermannsburg mission, became the first Patrol Officer of Central Australia, called himself the ‘last of the Aranda’, and compulsively collected secret-sacred objects and images. Broken Song straddles a century of Australian history, from the race wars on the frontier to the modern era of Aboriginal land rights, tracking Strehlow’s creative and tragic life in translation.' (Source: Reading Australia website)

Awarded for a work of non-fiction that has been outstandingly researched.