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Shortlist for 2019 National Biography Award announced

The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) has announced the shortlist for the 2019 National Biography Award, worth a total of $42,000.

The shortlisted works are:

  • No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Behrouz Boochani, trans by Omid Tofighian, Picador)
  • The Wasp and the Orchid: The remarkable life of Australian naturalist Edith Coleman (Danielle Clode, Picador)
  • The Trauma Cleaner (Sarah Krasnostein, Text)
  • Do Oysters Get Bored? A Curious Life (Rozanna Lilley, UWAP)
  • One Hundred Years of Dirt (Rick Morton, MUP)
  • Miss Ex-Yugoslavia (Sofija Stefanovic, Viking).

Chosen from 81 entries, the shortlist is dominated by debuts, with five of the six shortlisted titles being first books. The winner, who will receive $25,000, will be announced on 12 August. Each shortlisted author will receive $2000, while the inaugural Michael Crouch AC Award, valued at $5000, will be awarded to the best debut biography or memoir.

‘The judges were struck by the many compelling entries from younger writers experimenting with life writing. It bodes well for the future of Australian life writing, if issuing a challenge to conventional biography,’ said senior judge Margy Burn.

For more information about the award, and to read the judges’ comments on each shortlisted book, visit the SLNSW website.


Category: Awards Local news