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Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2020 shortlists announced

The shortlists for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:


  • The Death of Jesus (J M Coetzee, Text)
  • Exploded View (Carrie Tiffany, Text)
  • Wolfe Island (Lucy Treloar, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Yield (Tara June Winch, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Weekend (Charlotte Wood, A&U)


  • Heide (π.o., Giramondo)
  • The Future Keepers (Nandi Chinna, Fremantle Press)
  • Empirical (Lisa Gorton, Giramondo)
  • Birth Plan (L K Holt, Vagabond Press)
  • The Lost Arabs (Omar Sakr, UQP)


  • The Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat: A rodent history of Australia (Tim Bonyhady, Text)
  • Songspirals: Sharing women’s wisdom of Country through songlines (Gay’wu Group of Women, A&U)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse (Jess Hill, Black Inc.)
  • Sea People: The puzzle of Polynesia (Christina Thompson, HarperCollins)
  • Hearing Maud: A journey for a voice (Jessica White, UWA Publishing)

Australian history

  • From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting (Judith Brett, Text)
  • Progressive New World: How settler colonialism and transpacific exchange shaped American reform (Marilyn Lake, Harvard University Press)
  • Sludge: Disaster on Victoria’s goldfields (Susan Lawrence & Peter Davies, La Trobe University Press)
  • The Oarsmen: The remarkable story of the men who rowed from the Great War to peace (Scott Patterson, Hardie Grant)
  • Meeting the Waylo: Aboriginal encounters in the Archipelago (Tiffany Shellam, UWA Publishing)

YA literature

Children’s literature

The winners in each category receive $80,000 and the shortlisted writers each receive $5000. All prizes are tax-free.

To read the judges’ comments for each shortlisted book, see the website.


Category: Awards Local news