AustLit logo
Best Non-Fiction Book
or University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award
Subcategory of Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2011

winner y separately published work icon An Eye for Eternity : The Life of Manning Clark Mark McKenna , Carlton North : Melbourne University Press , 2011 Z1776387 2011 single work biography Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries - many that have never been read before.

'An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history. It tells of his friendships with Patrick White and Sidney Nolan. It details an urgent and dynamic marriage, ripped apart at times by Clark's constant need for extramarital romantic love. A son who wrote letters to his dead parents. A historian who placed narrative ahead of facts. A believer who flirted with Catholicism. A controversial public figure who marked slights and criticisms with deeply held grudges.

To understand Clark's life is to understand twentieth century Australia. And it raises fundamental questions about the craft of biography. When are letters too personal, comments too hurtful and insights too private to publish? Clark incessantly documented his life - leaving notes to the biographers he knew would pursue his story. He had a deep need to be remembered and this book means he will now be understood in an unforgettable way.' (Publisher's blurb)

Year: 2010

winner y separately published work icon The Blue Plateau : A Landscape Memoir Mark Tredinnick , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2009 Z1568483 2009 single work prose (taught in 2 units)

'The Blue Plateau is a lyrical exploration of a classic Australian landscape - the Blue Mountains - and its people, and the story of one man's journey to find home.

'The book's evocative narrative follows the author's attempt to settle in this difficult terrain, yet The Blue Plateau is a book of many stories. Through the fascinating characters the author meets, he traces the history of the Blue Mountains over decades, and beautifully describes the incredible connection between the people and the land.

Written in a time of drought, The Blue Plateau captures the essence of an iconic Australian place and its inhabitants, and reconnects us with this amazing land we live in.' (Publisher's blurb)

Year: 2009

winner y separately published work icon The Tall Man : Death and Life on Palm Island Chloe Hooper , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2008 Z1483259 2008 single work prose (taught in 11 units) In November 2004, in the small township of Palm Island in the far north of Queensland, Detective Hurley arrested Cameron Doomadgee for swearing at him. Doomadgee was drunk. A few hours later he died in a watch-house cell. According to the inquest, his liver was so badly damaged it was almost severed. (Source: Trove)

Year: 2008

winner y separately published work icon Muck Craig Sherborne , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2007 Z1423980 2007 single work autobiography

Year: 2007

winner y separately published work icon Slicing the Silence : Voyaging to Antarctica Tom Griffiths , Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2007 Z1365300 2007 single work prose travel 'In the summer of 2002-2003 Griffiths voyaged the Southern Ocean to Antarctica. He was with the first Australian ship to 'slice the silence' of a year, arriving at Casey Station to deliver the new team of 'winterers' and take away the old. Griffiths interweaves his own diary entries with essays that explore the human history of the mysterious continent of ice.' - back cover

Works About this Award

Rich Pickings for a Happy Historian Stephen Romei , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 7 September 2011; (p. 10)
Hicks Shines in Bligh's Parallel Literary Universe 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 24 August 2011; (p. 13)
Hicks Book in Line for $15,000 Prize Jamie Walker , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 23 August 2011; (p. 9)
C'mon, Luvvies, Get Real about This Dishonest Tale Imre Salusinszky , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 24 August 2011; (p. 3)
Hicks Nomination a Win for Democracy, Premier Insists Jared Owens , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 24 August 2011; (p. 3)
X