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WA Premier’s Book Awards 2016 shortlists announced

The shortlists for the biennial WA Premier’s Book Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:


  • Fever of Animals (Miles Allinson, Scribe)
  • Clade (James Bradley, Hamish Hamilton)
  • In Certain Circles (Elizabeth Harrower, Text)
  • A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories (Elizabeth Harrower, Text)
  • A Guide to Berlin (Gail Jones, Vintage)
  • Crow’s Breath (John Kinsella, Transit Lounge)
  • The Golden Age (Joan London, Vintage)
  • Feet to the Stars and Other Stories (Susan Midalia, UWA Publishing)
  • Claustrophobia (Tracy Ryan, Transit Lounge)


  • The Europeans in Australia: Volume 3—Nation (Alan Atkinson, NewSouth)
  • John Olsen: An Artist’s Life (Darleen Bungey, ABC Books)
  • This House of Grief (Helen Garner, Text)
  • Mannix (Brenda Niall, Text)
  • The Poet’s Wife (Mandy Sayer, A&U)
  • My Gallipoli (Ruth Starke & Robert Hannaford, Working Title Press)
  • In My Mother’s Hands (Biff Ward, A&U)


  • The River and the Book (Alison Croggon, Walker Books)
  • Are You Seeing Me? (Darren Groth, Random House)
  • One True Thing (Nicole Hayes, Random House)
  • Freedom Ride (Sue Lawson, Black Dog Books)
  • Talk under Water (Kathryn Lomer, UQP)
  • The Protected (Claire Zorn, UQP)


  • Rivertime (Trace Balla, A&U)
  • A-Z of Convicts in Van Dieman’s Land (Simon Barnard, Text)
  • Hello from Nowhere (Raewyn Caisley & Karen Blair, Viking)
  • How the Sun Got to Coco’s House (Bob Graham, Walker Books)
  • We All Sleep (Ezekiel Kwaymullina & Sally Morgan, Fremantle Press)
  • Our Island (Alison Lester & Elizabeth Honey, Viking)
  • A Single Stone (Meg McKinlay, Walker Books)
  • One Minute’s Silence (David Metzenthen & Michael Camilleri, A&U)
  • The Duck and the Darklings (Glenda Millard, A&U)
  • Being Agatha (Five Mile Press, Anna Pignatora)


  • The Guardians (Lucy Dougan, Giramondo)
  • The Hazards (Sarah Holland-Batt, UQP)
  • Radiance (Andy Kissane, Puncher & Wattmann)
  • The Fox Petition (Jennifer Maiden, Giramondo)
  • Earth Hour (David Malouf, UQP)

WA history

  • Paul Hasluck: A Life (Geoffrey Bolton, UWA Publishing)
  • Inspired by Light & Land: Designers and Makers in WA (Dorothy Erickson, Western Australian Museum)
  • Running Out? Water in Western Australia (Ruth A Morgan, UWA Publishing)
  • The Dealer is the Devil: An Insider’s History of the Aboriginal Art Trade (Adrian Newstead, Brandl & Schlesinger)
  • Between Duty and Design: The Architect Soldier (John J Taylor, UWA Publishing)

WA emerging writers

  • Lost and Found (Brooke Davis, Hachette)
  • Reality (Ray Glickman, Fremantle Press)
  • Conversations I’ve Never Had (Caitlin Maling, Fremantle Press)
  • I, Migrant (Sami Shah, A&U).

Shortlists for best script and digital narrative were also announced. To see the full list, click here.

A total of 792 books were entered for the awards over nine categories. Works published in 2014 and 2015 were eligible to enter.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 3 October.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, in 2015 the State Library of WA announced the awards were moving to a biennial format following an ‘internal review’ of the library’s budget. Previously the awards had run annually since 1982. No awards were presented last year.


Category: Awards Local news