The Nita Kibble Literary Award recognises the work of an established Australian woman writer, while the Nita May Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work from an Australian woman writer.
Source: http://www.perpetual.com.au/kibble/awards.htm Sighted: 15/11/2013.
Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the author's affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author's own actions and motivations. The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright's life, at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney. They combine research, travel writing, memoir, and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts of family life, and detailed and humorous views of hunger-induced situations of the kind that are so compelling in Wrights poetry. [Trove]
'This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists.
'He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home.
'It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond.
'The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families.
'Written in Joan London's customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia's finest novelists. ' (Publication summary)
'Kristina Olsson's mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950. She was young and frightened, trying to escape a brutal marriage, but despite the violence and cruelty she'd endured, she was not prepared for this final blow, this breathtaking punishment. Yvonne would not see her son again for nearly 40 years.
Kristina was the first child of her mother's subsequent, much gentler marriage and, like her siblings, grew up unaware of the reasons behind her mother's sorrow, though Peter's absence resounded through the family, marking each one. Yvonne dreamt of her son by day and by night, while Peter grew up a thousand miles and a lifetime away, dreaming of his missing mother.
Boy, Lost tells how their lives proceeded from that shattering moment, the grief and shame that stalked them, what they lost and what they salvaged. But it is also the story of a family, the cascade of grief and guilt through generations, and the endurance of memory and faith.' (Publisher's blurb)
'"It came one morning with the milk, and it seemed - at first - almost as innocent..."
'When Roberta "Bertie" Lightfoot is struck down with polio, her world collapses. But Mama doesn't tolerate self-pity, and Bertie is nobody if not her mother's daughter - until she sets her heart on becoming an artist. Through drawing, the gifted and perceptive Bertie gives form and voice to the reality of the people and the world around her. While her father is happy enough to indulge Bertie's driving passion, her mother will not let art get in the way of the future she wishes for her only daughter.
'In 1955 the family moves to post-colonial Port Moresby, a sometimes violent frontier town, where Bertie, determined to be the master of her own life canvas, rebels against her mother's strict control. In this tropical landscape, Bertie thrives amid the lush pallette of colours and abundance, secretly learning the techniques of drawing and painting under the tutelage of her mother's arch rival.
'But Roberta is not the only one deceiving her family. As secrets come to light, the domestic varnish starts to crack, and jealousy and passion threaten to forever mar the relationship between mother and daughter.
'Tender and witty, The Beloved is a moving debut novel which paints a vivid portrait of both the beauty and the burden of unconditional love.' (From the publisher's website.)
'On a radiant day in Sydney, four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water.
'But each of the four carries a complicated history from elsewhere; each is haunted by past intimacies, secrets and guilt: Ellie is preoccupied by her sexual experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China's Cultural Revolution.
'Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes four lives which chime and resonate, sharing mysterious patterns and symbols. But it is a fifth person, a child, whose presence at the Quay haunts the day and who will overshadow everything that unfolds. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.' (From the publisher's website.)
'The first time Brenda Walker packed her bag to go into hospital, she wondered which book to take with her. As a novelist and professor of literature, her life had been built around reading and writing. Now she was also a patient, being treated for breast cancer, fighting for her life and afraid for herself and her family. But turning to medicine didn't mean she turned away from fiction. Books had always been her solace and sustenance, and now choosing the right one was the most important thing she could do for herself.
'In Reading by Moonlight, Brenda describes the five stages of her treatment and how different books and authors helped her through the tumultuous process of recovery. As well as offering wonderful introductions and insights into the work of writers like Dante, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Beckett and Dickens, Brenda shows how the very process of reading - surrendering and then regathering yourself - echoes the process of healing.
'Reading by Moonlight guides, reassures, throws light on dark places, and finds beauty in the stories that come to us in times of jeopardy. It affirms that reading can be essential to life itself.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Set in a mining town in the Australian outback, Nights in the Asylum is the story of three people seeking shelter. Stricken with grief and guilt following the death of her daughter, Miri flees the city for the quiet calm of Havana Gardens, a once fine but now dilapidated mansion built for her grandmother. On the road, she rescues Aziz, an Afghan refugee on the run from detention; then, in the attic of the old house, Miri discovers Suzette Moran and her baby daughter hiding, and grants them refuge.
'Slowly, in the hot confined spaces of the house, the three runaways unravel their stories, but when Suzette's policeman husband comes looking for her, it sparks a chain of events that will disrupt their already fragile peace.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Victoria Morrell was once a great artist. She led the high life - living and working in Paris, mixing with the artists of the Surrealist movement. Her work was largely forgotten in the fifties and sixties, but was rediscovered in the seventies when she became something of a cult figure on the London art scene. She now lives as a recluse in Hampstead, London. And she is dying.
'Anna Griffin is the young woman commissioned to write a biography of Victoria's life. In many ways their lives strangely intersect, since they grew up in the same mining town and share preoccupations with underground spaces, deserts and the many forms of grief.
'In a compelling double narrative, Gail Jones tracks Victoria's past as it intertwines with Anna's life. The stories Victoria tells enable both women to enter into new forms of sympathy and understanding.
'Elegant, enthralling, and emotionally charged, Black Mirror is both a novel of love and family mystery, and a meditation on the nature of artistic vision and obsession.' (Publication summary)
From adolescent pen pal in the suburbs of Australia to prize-winning foreign correspondent, Geraldine Brooks presents an intimate and captivating memoir. Born on Bland Street in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longs to discover the vivid place where history happens and culture comes from. As a means of escaping the world around her, she enlists pen pals from around the globe who offer her a window on the hazards of adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. With the aid of her letters, Brooks turns her bedroom into the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the barricades of Parisian student protests, the swampy fields of an embattled kibbutz.
Brooks goes from the protected environment of a Catholic girls school to the University of Sydney, eventually renting her own flat near the bustling Sydney harbor. She hires on as an intern at The Sydney Morning Herald and then wins a scholarship to the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City, where she begins her career as a foreign correspondent. As a writer for The Wall Street Journal, Brooks reports on wars and famines in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Africa, but she never forgets her earlier foreign correspondence.
Back in Australia to attend her dying father, she stumbles on her old letters in her parents' basement, and embarks on a journey that tales her around the world on the most meaningful assignment of her career. Her search leads her through Israeli moshavim, Arab souks, medieval French hill towns, Martha's Vineyard fishing shacks, and Manhattan nightclubs. One by one, she finds men and women whose lives have been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of a mysterious and tragic mental illness.
It is only from the distance of foreign lands and against the background of alien lives that Brooks finally sees her homeland and her own life clearly. Candid, thoughtful, and compelling, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world. (Publisher description)
'Snake Cradle is the first volume of Roberta Sykes's three volume autobiography, Snake Dreaming. Snake Cradle chronicles the early years of one of Australia's best known activists for Aboriginal rights, from the time of her birth in Townsville in the 1940s through to the birth of her son when she was 17, and the trial of the men who raped her.
Roberta's voice is strong and true as she describes far north Queensland of the time, her battles with a series of childhood illnesses, and her growing awareness that hers was not an ordinary Australian childhood. Born to a white mother and a father whose identity she did not know, her passion and commitment to the struggles of the Aboriginal people was shaped by the racism her dark skin invoked. A powerful and moving autobiography about a history that must never be forgotten.' (Allen and Unwin)
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