PiO has won the 2020 Judith Wright Calanthe Award

We are thrilled to announce that PiO has won Australia’s most prestigious poetry prize, the 2020 Judith Wright Calanthe Award, for his epic work, Heide. Of Heide, the judges said:

“This is an epic work of art history and so much more. Frequently hilarious and always engaging, it tells the story of the development of settler art in Melbourne from its Eurocentric colonial origins through to the birth of something that might be considered Australian. Heide a major work that continually calls into attention the myth-making impulse on which so much history is built.”

Read more about the award here and watch PiO’s acceptance speech below.

Rawah Arja: a note on The F Team

The F Team
Buy the book here

Imagine living in a world where mirrors didn’t exist. You never saw yourself and you never knew what you looked like. That was my experience throughout high school as well as university – not only was a Muslim woman rare to find in print, people like me were demonised and our stories hijacked. I hated reading and found it really difficult to find a connection to the characters, the places – they did nothing for my world, the world of a Muslim.

I became a teacher, not because I wanted to but because my dad said that a woman should be independent in her life and never be in a position where she needed to rely on a man, let alone anyone else. A degree was his answer. Yes, he was very progressive. But also, he had seven children and not one of them lived out his lifelong dream of attending university, so I thought I’d take one for the team.

But during my ten years in the teaching profession, I realised that the dislike for literature in my community was still prevalent. I noticed it was mostly boys who didn’t read, and so I spent my lunchtimes in libraries trying to find books that would spark the love for reading and books, the way Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta or Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah did for me.

It was hard. I observed in different boys’ high schools for weeks to get a better understanding of why reading to them seemed like a school chore. ‘We’re either the terrorists or we’re the bad guy with a big beard,’ one boy said to me. He was talking about the news, but still, this idea was prevalent amongst most of the boys I talked to.

The answer seemed simple. If I wrote a book where I ignited their senses – if they could visualise the places, could feel with and connect to the diverse characters, and imagine plotlines without explosions – then maybe they’d not only read my book, but would be inspired to read the many wonderful Australian books that they’d missed out on.

In short, I want to create a story that any child of a minority would feel proud of, and know they matter. They matter to me; they matter to their community and school; and most importantly, they would see themselves as worthy of being in print. They would be inspired to take ownership of their narrative, rather than sit idly by while the world tells their stories.

Special Giramondo offer on recent titles

Because of the COVID crisis some of our recent titles have tended to go unnoticed. For this reason, we would like to offer you two special packages, one devoted to our literary translations, the other to our new poetry titles. These offers will be available until midnight on 30 September.

The first package includes three novellas translated from Spanish, two of which are in our Southern Latitudes series and the third by a novelist from the Spanish island of Mallorca. They are Imminence by Mariana Dimópulos, Nancy by Bruno Lloret, and Napoleon’s Beekeeper by José Luis de Juan. The translators are Alice Whitmore, Ellen Jones and Elizabeth Bryer. Normally valued at $75, this translation bundle is offered at $50 (postage is free within Australia). 

Our second package features three new poetry collections we have published this year: Towards the End by Ali Alizadeh, Family Trees by Michael Farrell and Homer Street by Laurie Duggan. The three collections give very different perspectives on Australian life. The poetry books normally sell for $24 each, but the package costs $48, effectively three books for the price of two (postage is free within Australia).

Yumna Kassab is shortlisted for the 2020 Readings Prize

We are delighted to share the news that Yumna Kassab has been shortlisted for the 2020 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. Her short story collection, The House of Youssef, joins five other books by emerging writers on the shortlist, with the winner to be announced in October.

Joe Rubbo, chair of the judging panel, described the book as: ‘A debut collection that charts the lives of Lebanese immigrants in Australia, these short, sharp stories are structured in a compelling fashion, building on each other to create a larger whole. Yumna Kassab knows what to leave out to ratchet up the intensity.’

Read more about the prize and other shortlisted titles at the Readings website

Pi.O and Yumna Kassab have been shortlisted for the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards

We are pleased to announce that Yumna Kassab has been shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award for her short story collection, The House of Youssef, and Pi.O has been shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe award for his epic poetry collection, Heide. Read the judges’ comments below.

The judges on The House of Youssef:

The stories in The House of Youssef portray – with deceptive simplicity – the daily lives of Lebanese migrants in Western Sydney. With a minimalism that is at times brutal and always revealing, Yumna Kassab uncovers a world that is vibrant, difficult, loving – full of cultural negotiations, anxieties of displacement, and hope for the future.

The judges on Heide:

This is an epic work of art history and so much more. Frequently hilarious and always engaging, it tells the story of the development of settler art in Melbourne from its Eurocentric colonial origins through to the birth of something that might be considered Australian. Heide a major work that continually calls into attention the myth-making impulse on which so much history is built.

Three weeks until submissions close for The Novel Prize

The Novel Prize, which offers US$10,000 to the winner and publication of their novel, will close submissions on 1 JulyThe judges will be looking for novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style.

The winner’s manuscript will be simultaneously published in Australia and New Zealand by Giramondo Publishing, in the UK and Ireland by the London-based Fitzcarraldo Editions, and in North America by New York’s New Directions. 

For writers from outside Australia and Australasia, please visit www.thenovelprize.com

Writers from Asia and Australasia can enter here.

Read the terms and conditions before submitting your entry. 

Four Giramondo authors shortlisted for the 2020 NSW Literary Awards

We are thrilled that Lisa Gorton, Joanne Burns, Fiona Wright and Yumna Kassab have been shortlisted in the 2020 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Gorton’s Empirical and Burns’ Apparently are shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, while Wright’s book of essays, The World Was Whole, has been shortlisted for the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, and Kassab’s The House of Youssef for the Glenda Adams Award for New Writing. 

Please see below for the judges’ comments. 

Empirical
Lisa Gorton
$24.00
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Empirical’s first section focuses on Melbourne’s Royal Park, which has been ear-marked for a motorway. In mesmerising fashion, Gorton unfolds and re-folds the landscape with the repetition of minutiae. The long central poem combines memory fragments into a bricolage of historical observations, government utterances, and other reportage about the park. The book’s second section is a daring and ornate leap into the European worlds of ancient statuary, the Crystal Palace, and the creative lives of Coleridge and Rimbaud. 

Empirical is an ambitious and accomplished work that gains cohesion through its concerns with perception, fragmentation, memory and place. Light is a central motif, falling on weeds or piles of rubble with the same equanimity as it does the walls of the Crystal Palace or a statue of the Venus de Milo. Gorton challenges us to question our hierarchy of perceptions and acknowledge that place could be ‘forever inventing a centre elsewhere’.

Joanne Burns is one of Australia’s leading poetic innovators. Her energised, animated poems synthesise often humorous, off-centre accounts of domestic and suburban life with an acutely modern sense of poetry, form, and image. In apparently, poem after poem dazzles with its wit—‘the room broods like an eternal hen’. The poet‘s masterly restraint helps build the satire, irony and psychological intensity of the work. Burns is a keen observer of human nature, and her perspicacity is matched by a wonderfully peculiar and uncanny appreciation for the power of poetic language.

In lines such as ‘I am not of the same stock cube as you’, Burns reenergises the sense that poetry can look sideways at reality, producing work that is both lyrically intuitive and liberating. apparently is a reverie that breathes fire into contemporary poetry ‘where [we] stand at the edge of the dream’.

Apparently
Joanne Burns
$24.00
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The World Was Whole
Fiona Wright
$29.95
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In this collection, Fiona Wright explores what it means to feel at home in a series of essays that are both personal and universal in their scope. This is a book about illness and the ways in which being in hospital, in treatment and in therapy can feel like being unhomed. It is a book about travel and the ways a traveller clings to habit to make provisional homes. And finally The World was Whole is a book about the places in which we live and their frequent precarity, the sharehouses and suburbs that house our bodies and lives.

Wright is an essayist with a distinctive and intelligent voice. She draws surprising and original connections between the social and the self in each of these essays. There is little of the claustrophobia that sometimes dogs the personal essay, that most contemporary of forms, in this beautifully crafted collection. Wright’s sharp observations of her world work to interrogate received notions of the way we speak and think about bodies and place.

The House of Youssef is a collection of stories that take us deep into the intimate lives of characters who are much more complex than their suburban lives might appear. A woman smokes cigarettes and thinks of her missing sons while trawling through the TV guide. A divorcee shrugs off advice from her family, who tell her to find another man or stay out of the sun to protect her once-pale skin. 

Set primarily among the Lebanese communities of western Sydney, these are stories of longing for things that can’t be articulated and of navigating familial and community relationships that can’t be escaped. Told in the stripped-back and intense style of Carver or Kafka, these stories do not waste a word. Every small gesture packs a punch and each detail carries the weight of a much larger life.

The House of Youssef
Yumna Kassab
$24.95
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Towards the End – launch speech by Philip Mead

Towards the End by Ali Alizadeh was launched by Philip Mead, at the Paperback Bookshop in Melbourne on 20 February, 2020. Below is an edited version of Mead’s launch speech. 

Welcome everyone. I’m delighted to be launching this latest collection of Ali Alizadeh’s poems, Towards the End, published by Giramondo. I’ve been following Ali’s writing now for a long time, ever since he sprung onto the scene in the late 90s as a new voice and a new sensibility. Ali Alizadeh: I’ve always thought of him as a double-A poet! Since then he’s become such an important and distinctive writer in Australia’s contemporary literary scene. He’s persisted with poetry, as we know, with two collections of his own work before this volume, and the collection of translations from Attar (2007), the great Sufi poet (of the late twelfth/early thirteenth centuries) – forerunner of Rumi and Hafiz. To give you some idea of the fascinating complexities that Ali traverses in his writing… (read more)

 

Giramondo Publishing, Fitzcarraldo Editions and New Directions launch The Novel Prize

Fitzcarraldo Editions, Giramondo Publishing and New Directions are pleased to announce The Novel Prize, a new biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published and unpublished writers around the world.

The Novel Prize offers US$10,000 to the winner in the form of an advance against royalties, and simultaneous publication of their novel in Australia and New Zealand by Sydney publisher Giramondo, in the UK and Ireland by the London-based Fitzcarraldo Editions, and in North America by New York’s New Directions. The judges will be looking for novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style.

The Novel Prize will be managed by the three publishers working in collaboration. Entries will be open from 1 April to 1 July 2020, with Giramondo reading submissions from Asia and Australasia, Fitzcarraldo Editions from Africa and Europe, and New Directions from the Americas. A shortlist will be made public in December 2020, with the winner announced in February 2021. The winning novel will be published in early 2022.

Nick Tapper, commissioning editor at Giramondo, commented: ‘The Novel Prize is an unprecedented opportunity for us to work with two of the world’s most distinctive literary publishers. We look forward to discovering original and challenging fiction from Australia and our region, and to publishing the winning work with Fitzcarraldo and New Directions.’

Fitzcarraldo Editions publisher Jacques Testard said: ‘Everyone at Fitzcarraldo Editions is thrilled to be working on the Novel Prize with Giramondo and New Directions, whose lists we admire enormously. After running our own novel prize for British and Irish writers for two years it’s very exciting to be “going global” with two like-minded publishing houses. Nothing like this prize exists and I can’t wait to see what gems we unearth in this inaugural iteration.’

New Directions publisher Barbara Epler said: ‘This is truly a first for us: though New Directions always aims to find exciting new voices, we are especially thrilled, in this novel adventure, to be casting a net over the entire Anglophone world with such wonderful and like-minded publishers as Fitzcarraldo and Giramondo.’

For PR enquiries, please contact publicity@giramondopublishing.com.

www.thenovelprize.com

 

Yumna Kassab longlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize

We are delighted that The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab has been longlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize, an award that celebrates women’s writing.

The House of Youssef is a debut collection of short stories remarkable for its minimalism. Set in the western suburbs of Sydney, it portrays the lives of Lebanese immigrants and their families: their hopes and regrets, their feelings of isolation, and their nostalgia for what they might have lost or left behind.

Of the work, the judges said:

Rarely does a debut writer create a work this consistent in quality, technique and narrative form. The House of Youssef is a stunning collection of short stories exploring the intricacies of migrant life in Australia, and the pressures faced by culturally diverse Australians to balance their identity in a landscape that is constantly shifting when it comes to inclusion and equality.

 

 Kassab uses her sparse and thoughtful prose to bring to life generations of families, and constructs each character with compassion, generosity and detail. Whilst the stories all stand on their own individually, each builds on the next to create a strong collection that shines as a whole. Issues such as gender equality, poverty, racism and family dynamics come together to demonstrate the complexity of the Australian identity.

 

This collection suggests we have much more to look forward to from Kassab as an emerging talent.

Read more about the award on the Stella Prize website.

The House of Youssef
Yumna Kassab
$24.95
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Yumna Kassab shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction

The House of Youssef
Yumna Kassab
$24.95
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The 2020 Victorian Premier‘s Literary Awards shortlists have been announced, and we are delighted that The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab has been selected for Fiction.

The House of Youssef is a debut collection of short stories remarkable for its minimalism. Set in the western suburbs of Sydney, it portrays the lives of Lebanese immigrants and their families.

’As the reader works through these vignettes, the many lenses through which these characters see the world becomes strikingly apparent, and their effect on the reader stunning. Minimalism is not just the format of this book, but it becomes its metaphor – a writerly tool – to express the ongoing effects of Islamophobia.’ – From the judges‘ report.

Read the full judges‘ report and an excerpt from The House of Youssef on the Wheeler Centre website.

Judith Beveridge wins 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award

We are thrilled to announce that Judith Beveridge was awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry in Canberra on 23 October, for Sun Music: New and Selected Poems. See below for the full judges’ comments.

Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
Judith Beveridge
$26.95
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With joyous fluency and formal mastery, Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems draws the reader into an electrifying encounter with language, guiding us through its flexure and torsion, its exacting grace. The selection of new poems in Sun Music linger on both the human and animal worlds, from the delicate texture of Banaras silk sari to cane toads to the act of juicing sugar cane, and are marked by their clarity of perception and attentiveness to textural and sonic detail. The titular elegy, ‘Sun Music’, is one of several where the poet turns to more personal territory, mourning the loss of a father who found redemption from drinking through bird-watching, finding himself ‘intoxicated / by the sea, the sky, the spindrift a new / spell he could steer his life by’. Beveridge takes a similarly ecstatic pleasure in the elements in many of these new poems, which balance the clamouring external landscape with a meditative, introspective interior world that increasingly seeks a language for loss and grief.

– Judges' Comments

Judith Beveridge, Keri Glastonbury and Suneeta Peres da Costa have been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

We are thrilled to announce that three Giramondo titles have been shortlisted in the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. They are Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa for the Fiction Prize, and Sun Music: New and Selected Poems by Judith Beveridge and Newcastle Sonnets by Keri Glastonbury for the Poetry Prize. 

Please see below for the judges’ comments. 

Saudade
Suneeta Peres da Costa
$19.95
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Suneeta Peres Da Costa’s – Saudade – is a beautifully conceived story told from the perspective of a young Goan migrant who lives with her family in Angola during the last years of Portuguese occupation. The author’s eye for vivid and telling details evokes the African setting in all its colour and richness. A sensitive portrayal of the narrator’s developing consciousness and her sense of uncertainty about her place in the world, the narrative explores the themes of displacement and belonging on an intimate level, through her relationships with her mother, the more distant figure of her father, and the family’s servant, Caetano. Beyond these personal relationships, it develops a nuanced understanding of the workings of race and class within a complex colonial society. Saudadeis notable for the gorgeous fluency of its prose style. Its moving story is told with an elegance and concision that exemplify the virtues of the novella form.

With joyous fluency and formal mastery, Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems draws the reader into an electrifying encounter with language, guiding us through its flexure and torsion, its exacting grace. The selection of new poems in Sun Music linger on both the human and animal worlds, from the delicate texture of Banaras silk sari to cane toads to the act of juicing sugar cane, and are marked by their clarity of perception and attentiveness to textural and sonic detail. The titular elegy, ‘Sun Music’, is one of several where the poet turns to more personal territory, mourning the loss of a father who found redemption from drinking through bird-watching, finding himself ‘intoxicated / by the sea, the sky, the spindrift a new / spell he could steer his life by’. Beveridge takes a similarly ecstatic pleasure in the elements in many of these new poems, which balance the clamouring external landscape with a meditative, introspective interior world that increasingly seeks a language for loss and grief.

Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
Judith Beveridge
$26.95
Buy here

Newcastle Sonnets
Keri Glastonbury
$24.00
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Keri Glastonbury’s Newcastle Sonnets is a post-industrial love song to the city of Newcastle: once working-class heartland, now a world-topping hipster cities. To Glastonbury’s eye the city is a ‘chiaroscuro of coal dust and sand’ – ‘plum blossoms line Pinnaroo Drive’ while ‘a shopping trolley rusts at the rocks’. Glastonbury’s sonnets, far from stultifying, are energetic and playful as they enact the associative freedoms of everyday speech. Her tone – wry, not sappy, politically savvy, not didactic – acts as a stabilising force beneath the nervous surfaces of the poems, allowing her to say whatever pops into her head without appearing random. Variously the poems address lovers and friends and frequently incorporate comical cameos from the political class – Tony Abbott, Bob Carr, Penny Wong’s speechwriter, and many more – but at least one politically apathetic Novocastrian remains: having none of it, she folds her ‘voting slip into an origami crane’.

Six authors to feature at the Melbourne Writers Festival

We are pleased to share the news that six Giramondo authors will feature at the Melbourne Writers Festival this year, including Ali Cobby Eckermann, Alexis Wright, Fiona Wright, Eunice Andrada and Fiona McGregor. Also appearing at the festival will be international guest, Norman Erikson Pasaribu, visiting from Indonesia.

Find full sessions details for all attending authors by following the links below.

Alexis Wright

Melbourne Masterclass: Alexis Wright – Sat 31 Aug, 6.30pm

Boisbouvier Oration: Publishing from the Provinces with Ivor Indyk – Wed 4 Sep, 6.30pm

 

 

Eunice Andrada

The Heart Bent – Sun 1 Sep, 4pm

Writing: A Liminal Art – Mon 2 Sep, 6pm

 

Ali Cobby Eckermann

Writers Across Borders – Sat 31 Aug, 9.30am

Samia Khatun: Australianama – Sat 31 Aug, 4pm

Local Libraries: Ali Cobby Eckermann – Thu 5 Sep, 7pm

On Voice and Power – Sun 8 Sep, 2.30pm

Fiona Wright

Fiona McGregor

The Politics of Disgust – Sat 31 Aug, 11.30am

Fiona McGregor: A Novel Idea – Sun 1 Sep, 4pm

 

Norman Erikson Pasaribu

Writers Across BordersSat 31 Aug, 9.30am

The Politics of DisgustSat 31 Aug, 11.30am

The Fifth Estate: The Future of IndonesiaSat 31 Aug, 2.30pm

Storytelling Live: Speaking of Love – Sat 31 Aug, 6.30pm

West Writers x WrICE: CRAFTSun 1 Sep, 11am

 

Judith Beveridge has been shortlisted for the 2019 Colin Roderick Award

Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
Judith Beveridge
$26.95
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The Colin Roderick Award, a prize for the year’s best original book, has announced the 2019 shortlist, and we are delighted that Sun Music: New and Selected Poems by Judith Beveridge has been chosen as one of the five shortlisted titles.

Selected from a longlist of twelve, Sun Music is the only poetry title on the shortlist. Poet Geoff Page described the collection in the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘mandatory for anyone interested in Australian poetry over the last four decades or so’.

The winning title will be announced on 31 October 2019. For more information on the award, please visit the Colin Roderick Award website.

Intoxicatingly wild and associative, yet honed and tempered by Beveridge’s singular craftsmanship,
Sun Music offers us the rarest of pleasures: a ‘clear elaborated nectar’ that sings. — Sarah Holland-Batt

Exquisitely wrought, imprinted with earth’s beauty as with the difficulties and injustices of life, the poems gathered in Sun Music confirm that Judith Beveridge is one of Australia’s truly great and enduring poets. — Peter Boyle

Norman Erikson Pasaribu on tour in Australia

Indonesian author Norman Erikson Pasaribu, whose poetry collection Sergius Seeks Bacchus Giramondo published in April, will be a guest of Queensland Poetry Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival in August and September. Norman will also appear in Sydney, joined by the translator of his collection, Tiffany Tsao. More information on these events can be found below.

Sergius Seeks Bacchus is the first poetry collection to be published in Giramondo’s Southern Latitudes series. Drawing on the experiences of fellow members of the queer community and especially on the poet’s life as a writer of Bataknese descent and Christian background, the collection furnishes readers with an alternative gospel, a book of bittersweet good news pieced together from the poet’s encounters with ridicule, persecution, loneliness, and also happiness.

BRISBANE

Queensland Poetry Festival, 23–25 August 2019

SYDNEY

In conversation with Tiffany Tsao, Better Read Than Dead, 29 August 2019

MELBOURNE

Melbourne Writers Festival, 31 August 2019
West Writers Forum, 1 September

Tom Lee named a 2019 SMH Best Young Australian Novelist

Tom Lee has been chosen as one of this years’ Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists for his first novel Coach Fitz. The award, given to writers who are 35 years or younger at the time of their book’s publication, was judged by Felicity Castagna, Delia Falconer and Jason Steger. 

Of his novel, the judges said ‘‘The pace of this novel is the pace of the narrator Tom and coach Fitz’s training sessions as they cover new parts of Sydney and engage in fine-grained analysis of the terrain and the philosophy of running. The obsessive, ritual nature of these discussions creates a strange, almost hypnotic narrative momentum that embraces some of life’s big questions.’’

Read more about this years’ award at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Coach Fitz
Tom Lee
$26.95
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Gerald Murnane, Alexis Wright and Michael Farrell are shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

We are delighted to announce that three Giramondo titles have been shortlisted in the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. They are Gerald Murnane’s Border Districts for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, Alexis Wright’s Tracker for the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, and Michael Farrell’s I Love Poetry for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. 

Please see below for the judges’ comments. 

Border Districts
Gerald Murnane
$24.95
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Any discussion of Border Districts, like much of Gerald Murnane’s work before it, is inevitably wrapped up in the known interests of the author. The unnamed narrator in the novel tasks himself to report on a liminal space, one that gains significance in a less geographical sense than that land made by thoughts appended to paper. The recurrence of colour, horseracing, religion and education are like so many corks on a tide, retreating and returning by the inescapable gravity of the author’s career-long interest. Such is the beautifully circular logic of Murnane’s rhythmic syntax that the reader is happy to be caught in its current, and measures time according to its slower pulse.

Murnane’s fastidiousness, his determination to integrate both his past and the purpose of writing, make him one of the most significant authors this country has produced. If, as Murnane has said, Border Districts is indeed his last work of fiction it is a fitting full stop to a particular view made large by the scrupulousness of the author’s astonishing talent.

A symphonic chorus of biography, Tracker presents the larger than life figure of Aboriginal leader and thinker Tracker Tilmouth, a charismatic figure who died in Darwin in 2015. Strategist, entrepreneur, political activist, Tilmouth imagined a bright future for Indigenous Australians and dedicated his life to initiatives that would secure their destiny in their culture. In a monumental work of collective storytelling, that builds in power like a musical fugue, Alexis Wright weaves together interviews with the many people who knew Tracker as family, friends and colleagues, to create a thrillingly complex, multi-faceted portrait.

Epic and ambitious, Tracker challenges traditional Western approaches to biography with its non-linear, often digressing multi-voiced collection of anecdotes and yarns, presented as if heard around an endless campfire. What emerges is a deep, richly layered, often surprising sense of a unique individual, passionately engaged in shaping the opportunities for his people to thrive and take pride in their culture.

Tracker
Alexis Wright
$39.95
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I Love Poetry
Michael Farrell
$24.00
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Michael Farrell’s latest book is a list and commentary on iconic Australian characters aligned with a number of famous international artists, poets, actors and a ubiquitous Pope. Unpredictable scenes unfold under Farrell’s laconic gaze and voice, sharks, Uluru, the Magic Pudding and an emu in police uniform facing hippogriffs, impalas, androids and Rome. The constant juxtapositions are both disconcerting and highly amusing.

The effect of this poet’s seemingly random associations goes beyond the intentional meaninglessness of surrealism, as an individual point of view emerges despite the deliberate avoidance of traditional grammatical connections. With characteristic flair and impressive risks with language, these poems are startling in their evocations of history and place, and the results are often equally dark and hilarious. I Love Poetry is a celebration of the senses and imagination.

Gerald Murnane and Brian Castro win 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

We are thrilled to announce that two Giramondo authors were awarded 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in Canberra on 5 December. Gerald Murnane won the Fiction category with his ‘perfectly formed short work’, Border Districts, and Castro won the Poetry category with his verse novel, Blindness and Rage: a Phantasmagoriadescribed by the judges as ‘notable for its mordant wit, its rich allusiveness and the invigorating fluency of its verse’. See below for the full judges’ comments.

Border Districts
Gerald Murnane
$24.95
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In Border Districts, Gerald Murnane has distilled the various elements of his inimitable literary sensibility into a perfectly formed short work. The logic of this unique book is associative rather than narrative. Styled as a ‘report’ on the images that strike the mind of its narrator, it has him relating scenes from his childhood and adolescence, reflecting on the books he has read, remembering old acquaintances, and taking in the landscape of the small borderland town where he has come to live. The narrative is an exquisite prism of introspection, in which a life’s experiences are carefully ordered and transformed into art by virtue of the patterns they come to form in the mind and the profoundly evocative qualities they have acquired. Rendered in crystalline prose and touched with an elegiac pathos, Border Districts is the crowning achievement of a singular literary career.

– Judges' Comments

Blindness and Rage is a verse novel – composed of thirty-four cantos – notable for its mordant wit, its rich allusiveness and the invigorating fluency of its verse. Characterised by its author as a ‘phantasmagoria’, it describes the adventures of a terminally ill poet from Adelaide named Lucien Gracq, as he undertakes a final journey through the seamy underbelly of the literary world in the hope of realising his desire to complete his own epic poem. Blindness and Rage displays the formal inventiveness that has long been a feature of Brian Castro’s work, but it is also an extremely funny book, packed with jokes and wordplay that wrings considerable delight from Gracq’s gloomy outlook. Blindness and Rage is a wicked satire on pretension and futility, a poem about ambition and literary endeavour as paths to frustration and failure, but it is itself a poem that manages to avoid these pitfalls and achieve a brilliant success.

– Judges' Comments

Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria
Brian Castro
$26.95
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We are especially proud to have four Giramondo authors as finalists this year, with two other titles shortlisted for Poetry: Bonny Cassidy’s Chatelainein which Cassidy creates what the judges called ‘an audacious new architecture of meaning’, and Fiona Wright’s Domestic Interior, ‘intoxicating in its imagery’. The full judges’ comments are available here.

The awards were presented by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield at a ceremony held at Parliament House, Canberra.

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