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More accolades for Michelle de Kretser and Questions of Travel!

More accolades for Michelle de Kretser and Questions of Travel!

Winners of the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards were revealed on 19 May and we are thrilled to announce that Michelle de Kretser's Questions of Travel was named Book of the Year, as well as winner of the Christina Stead Prize for fiction and joint winner of the Community Relations Commission Award for a Multicultural NSW.

Questions of Travel has won numerous accolades and awards, including the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the 2013 ALS Gold Medal, and the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction. The book is also shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (winner to be announced in June).

A huge congratulations to Michelle from all at Allen & Unwin, and also to Ashley Hay whose novel The Railwayman's Wife took home the People's Choice Award, voted for by the readers of NSW.

Find out more about Michelle's win

Find out more about the Awards


Spotlight:

Mr Chicken Lands on London

by Leigh Hobbs

He's already been to Paris - but Mr Chicken can't wait another minute, so he finishes his breakfast, collects his camera and flies to London. He wants to see everything.

Spotlight:

The Luck of the Irish

by Babette Smith

The Luck of the Irish is a fascinating portrait of colonial life in the mid-19th century, which reveals how the Irish helped lay the foundations of the Australia we know today.

Spotlight:

Blackbird

by Tom Wright

Introducing Detective Jim Beaudry Bonham, formerly known as Biscuit ... and no stranger to the dark side of life. Ask no questions. Tell no lies. Stay close to the flock...

Spotlight:

The Hundred-Foot Journey

by Richard C Morais

The charming, funny and compulsively readable novel about restaurant rivalry, the desperate quest for Michelin Stars and the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French restaurant in Paris, is now a major movie.

Out now
Coming soon
Spotlight:

Mrs D is Going Without

by Lotta Dann

Lotta Dann was in trouble - her fun drinking habit had slowly morphed into an obsessive hunger for wine. One bottle a night was never quite enough. When she tried to cut down, she found it nearly impossible to have an alcohol-free day.

Everyone around could see her drinking, but no one realised what a serious problem it was. She was high-functioning, fun-loving Lotta, not some messy, hopeless drunk. Only Lotta knew how sick and twisted her thinking about wine had become.

Desperate and miserable, she was falling deeper and deeper into a boozy hellhole and running out of ideas about what she could do to stop it. What's a girl to do when her beloved wine becomes the enemy?

Here's what Lotta did. She stopped drinking and secretly started a blog that charted the highs and lows of learning to live without alcohol. Mrs D was anonymous, honest and, as Lotta would discover, surrounded by people who would help her on her journey, and whom she could help in return.

Spotlight:

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

by Viv Albertine

'Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.' (Viv's mum, to Viv, in the mid-70s.)

Viv Albertine is one of a handful of original punks who changed music, and the discourse around it, forever. In Clothes ... Music ... Boys a story hitherto dominated by male voices is recast through the eyes of one of the most glamorous, uncompromising and iconic figures of the time.

After forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Viv joined The Slits and made musical history as one of the first generation of punk bands. Here is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk: the sex, the drugs, the guys, the tours, the hard lessons learnt and those not considered. From Madonna to Lady Gaga, fashion to feminims, Viv Albertine has influenced a range of exceptional artists. Here, before and beyond the break-up of The Slits in 1982, is the full story of a life lived unscripted, with foolishness, bravery and great emotional honesty.

A memoir full of raw and uncompromising anecdote and opinion, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys is an unflinching account of a life lived on the frontiers of experience, by a true pioneer.

Spotlight:

All My Puny Sorrows

by Miriam Toews

Yolanda is conflicted. Her sister Elf has battled depression for her whole adult life, and is in a psychiatric ward under permanent observation after attempting suicide - again.

Yolanda has always looked up to Elf as her talented and beautiful older sister. She loves her with a fierce passion and wants to believe in the possibility of a future together, one in which Elf gets better. But it's looking unlikely and Yolanda has to decide; if the person you love is tired of living, is it kinder just to let them go?

All My Puny Sorrows (a line from a Coleridge poem) is written out of Miriam Toews's personal experience and is, in some ways, a grown-up version of A Complicated Kindness, the novel that catapulted Toews to her bestselling status in Canada. This story allows Toews's beguiling narrative voice - her easy, snappy, darkly comic intimacy - to sing through.

Spotlight:

Treason's Daughter

by Antonia Senior

Love, betrayal and a family divided amid the turmoil of the English Civil War.

London, 1640. Fifteen-year-old Henrietta Challoner dreams of adventure, of a life lived at the gallop, of the opportunities afforded to her brothers, Ned and Sam. She cannot know how devastatingly real these dreams will become, as the country slides towards vicious civil war...

The crisis threatens to tear Henrietta's family apart. As religious and political tensions spill into the streets, they all must decide what comes first - their family, their country or their desires. But while she strives to maintain the peace at home, Henrietta becomes embroiled in a deeper plot: to hand London over to the King.

Spotlight:

Rescue on Nim's Island

by Wendy Orr

Nim lives on an island with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, and their friend Alex Rover, the adventure writer. Nim's island is the most beautiful place in the world, and she wouldn't swap live anywhere else.

When Jack invites a group of scientists to visit, they bring their children as well. But two of the scientists have plans other than studying algae... By the time Nim discovers what they really want, and what they will do to get it, the children are in grave danger. And so is the island! Nim must choose between saving a natural treasure and saving someone's life.

Spotlight:

Razorhurst

by Justine Larbalestier

The setting: 1932, Razorhurst. Two competing mob bosses - Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson - have reached a fragile peace.

Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.

Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson's 'best girl'. She knows the highs and lows of life, but she doesn't know what this day has in store for her.

When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna's latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie's new protector. But Dymphna's life is in danger too and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy's ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living.

Gloriana Nelson's kingdom is crumbling and Mr Davidson is determined to have all of Razorhurst - including Dymphna. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna and Kelpie are determined to survive what is becoming a day with a high body count.

'Vivid and bloody and bold and fast; I feel like Razorhurst is in my bones now.' Elizabeth Gilbert

Spotlight:

The Eye of the Sheep

by Sofie Laguna

Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always know.

Meet Jimmy Flick. He's not like other kids - he's both too fast and too slow. He sees too much, and too little. Jimmy's mother Paula is the only one who can manage him. She teaches him how to count sheep so that he can fall asleep. She holds him tight enough to stop his cells spinning. It is only Paula who can keep Jimmy out of his father's way. But when Jimmy's world falls apart, he has to navigate the unfathomable world on his own, and make things right.

Sofie Laguna's first novel One Foot Wrong received rave reviews, sold all over the world and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award. In The Eye of the Sheep, her great originality and talent will again amaze and move readers. In the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones, here is a surprising and brilliant novel from one of our finest writers.

Spotlight:

Through the Woods

by Emily Carroll

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

Spotlight:

We Were Liars

by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense that will leave you reeling.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

'We Were Liars is heartbreaking, witty, beautiful and disturbing. E. Lockhart's best book to date.' JUSTINE LARBALESTIER

'A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real.' SCOTT WESTERFELD

Spotlight:

The War of the Four Isles: The Ship Kings 3

by Andrew McGahan

'The ancient mapmaker had inscribed a warning within the great empty circle on his chart, words that echoed down to Dow from half a thousand years before.

Here be whales in great number.

And here be monsters of the deep that riseth to feast upon them.'


Nearly three years have passed since Dow Amber escaped the ruin of the Twelfth Kingdom. In that time war has raged all across the Four Isles, but Dow himself has been hidden away from the major battles by his Twin Islands hosts, relegated to a backwater of the war, in the company of the beguiling Cassandra.

But when word reaches Dow that Ignella of the Cave has been imprisoned upon the infamous Ship Kings dungeon-isle of Banishment, he can be patient no longer. He sets forth upon an epic voyage that will take him halfway around the world -- defying storm and monster, betrayal and despair -- to the heart of the greatest battle of the Age, and to the discovery at last of his true purpose upon the high seas.

The War of the Four Isles is the third volume in Andrew McGahan's momentous Ship Kings series.

Spotlight:

I, Migrant

by Sami Shah

Despite nearly being killed by a kangaroo and almost lynched and run out of town after his comedy was taken far too seriously, Sami Shah is very happy to be living in Australia. He has fronted his own satirical show on TV in Karachi, worked as a journalist and been a highly regarded newspaper columnist - all dangerous occupations to be involved in - when the combination of seeing the aftermaths of a devastating bomb attack and being the target of death threats convinced him to leave Pakistan. Under the terms of their Australian migration visa, Sami and his wife and young daughter were obliged to settle in a rural area, and so they moved to Northam in Western Australia.

Now Sami is battling a crippling addiction to meat pies, but at least is no longer constantly mistaken for an escaped asylum seeker from the nearby detention centre. He has also been the star of Australian Story, the subject of an article in The New York Times, and has performed countless comedy shows to ever-growing and appreciative audiences.

I, Migrant tells the hilarious and moving story of what it's like to leave the home you love to start a new life in another country so your child can be safe and grow up with a limitless future. Australia is lucky to have Sami Shah. Read I, Migrant, and laugh till you cry.

Spotlight:

The Best Years of Our Lives

by Richard Clapton

When he was 16 he inveigled his way into a maximum security hotel to hang out with the Rolling Stones. From that day on, Richard Clapton knew he was going to be a rock star. It's now almost 50 years since that fateful day - years filled with a lifetime of incredible experiences, outrageous good times and a catalogue of iconic and timeless songs. Through the glory years of rock & roll, in cities as varied as London, Berlin, Sydney, Los Angeles and Paris, Richard forged his own career and built up a significant body of work whilst living, loving and partying with the biggest names in the Australian and international music world.

By his own frank admission, these were years fuelled by prodigious quantities of alcohol and drugs, set against a backdrop of constant recording and touring, of endless bacchanalian partying and wild sex. It was to be a dark and dangerous journey to the very outer limits of human behavior and physical endurance, a rollercoaster ride of extraordinary euphoric highs and deep, shattering lows. Dozens of Richard's friends died on that journey or fell off the path. Miraculously, he survived to tell the tale AND he remembers everything!

For 40 years, Richard Clapton has been, above all else, a songwriter - a wry observer of human behavior and an astute commentator on the Australian condition. His best songs - Deep Water, Best Years of Our Lives, Goodbye Tiger, Glory Road, Lucky Country, Girls on the Avenue, Trust Somebody, Capricorn Dancer - capture the essence of this country like few other writers.

In The Best Years of My Life, Richard employs his keen songwriter's powers of observation, portraiture and storytelling to tell the best one of all: the extraordinary story of his own life. Outrageous, funny, insightful and poignant, this is the rock memoir to beat them all. Welcome to the party that never ends...

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