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Fiction Book Award
or University of Queensland Fiction Book Award
Subcategory of Queensland Literary Awards
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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Song of the Crocodile Nardi Simpson , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2020 19679450 2020 single work novel

'Darnmoor, The Gateway to Happiness. The sign taunts a fool into feeling some sense of achievement, some kind of end- that you have reached a destination in the very least. Yet the sign states clearly, Darnmoor is the gateway, and merely a measure, the mark, a point on a road you begin to move closer to a place you might really want to be.

'Darnmoor is the home of the Billymil family, three generations who have lived in this 'gateway town'. Race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, though the rigid status quo is upheld through threats and soft power rather than the overt violence of yesteryear.

'As progress marches inexorably onward, Darnmoor and its surrounds undergo rapid social and environmental changes, but as some things change, some stay exactly the same. Our protagonist characters are watched (and sometimes visited) by ancestral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased, who look out for their descendants and attempt to help them on the right path.

'When the town's secrets start to be uncovered the town will be rocked by a violent act that forever shatters a century of silence.

'Full of music, Gamillaray language and exquisite description, Song of The Crocodile is a lament to choice and change, and the unyielding land that sustains us all, if we can but listen to it.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon Stone Sky Gold Mountain Mirandi Riwoe , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 18132113 2020 single work novel

'Tragic family circumstances force siblings Ying and Lai Yue to flee their home in China to seek their fortunes in North Queensland. Life on the gold fields is hard, and they soon abandon the diggings and head to nearby Maytown. Once there, Lai Yue finds a job as a carrier on expeditions, taking him far away from his sister. Ying remains in the township, where she works in a local store and strikes up an unlikely friendship with Meriem, a young white woman with a troubled past. Maytown is a place where violence frequently erupts and, when a serious crime is committed, suspicion falls on all those who are considered outsiders.

'Evoking the rich, unfolding tapestry of Australian life in the late nineteenth century, Stone Sky Gold Mountain is a heartbreaking and timeless story about those exiled from family and place who encounter discrimination yet yearn for acceptance.'   (Publication summary)

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Exploded View Carrie Tiffany , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 14976256 2019 single work novel

'A dangerous man moves in with a mother and her two adolescent children. The man runs an unlicensed mechanic’s workshop at the back of their property. The girl resists the man with silence, and finally with sabotage. She fights him at the place where she believes his heart lives—in the engine of the car.

'Set at the close of the 1970s and traversing thousands of kilometres of inland roads, Exploded View is a revelatory interrogation of Australian girlhood.

'Must a girl always be a part—how can she become a whole?' (Publication summary)

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Taboo Kim Scott , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2017 11490897 2017 single work novel

'From Kim Scott, two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, comes a work charged with ambition and poetry, in equal parts brutal, mysterious and idealistic, about a young woman cast into a drama that has been playing for over two hundred years ...

'Taboo takes place in the present day, in the rural South-West of Western Australia, and tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar's descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife's dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.

'But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged.

'We walk with the ragtag group through this taboo country and note in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country. We learn alongside them how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon The Birdman's Wife Melissa Ashley , Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2016 10145786 2016 single work novel historical fiction

'Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

'Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

'In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

'An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history - until now.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

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