Monthly Archives: March 2009

2009 Man Booker International Prize

The Judges' List of contenders for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize has also been announced. “The Man Booker International Prize differs from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlights one writer's continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. It is awarded every two years.” This year 14 authors from 12 different countries have been included on the list: seven of the authors are writers in translation.
The authors are:
Peter Carey (Australia),
Evan S. Connell (USA),
Mahasweta Devi (India),
E.L. Doctorow (USA),
James Kelman (UK),
Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru),
Arnoat Lustig (Czechoslovakia),
Alice Munro (Canada),
V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India),
Joyce Carol Oates (USA),
Antonio Tabucchi (Italy),
Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya),
Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia),
Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia).
The winner will be announced in May 2009.

Heathcliff - the missing years

It is funny how this topic crops up in every discussion of our Classics Book Club talks on Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In Wuthering Heights Heathcliff disappears for a time and upon his return is dressed as quite the gentleman, knows how to gamble and is still obsessed with Cathy. So where did he go? What happened to him? Theories abound and range from a trip to the West Indies, an excursion to Australia to search for gold, certainly ill-gotten gains, maybe he fell in with a band of gypsies – a reference to his mysterious past perhaps, or he stole away on a ship for sure! In a few minutes each of the discussion groups came up with several ideas but wait for it… there is a book called Heathcliff: The Return to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant and Emily Bronte. Let us know what you think? Is it a good story? Believable? Or do you prefer the Classics not be tampered with and Heathcliff's past left to our own imaginations. Pictured is Timothy Dalton as Healthcliff from the 1970 movie Wuthering Heights(Image: AIP Ronald Grant Archive).

2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize - Regional Winners

You will never guess the name of the Best Book in the South-East Asia and Pacific region of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize  well you might if you keep up with Pageturners and here's a hint  it is an insight into suburban life and features a child called Hugo. Yes  The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas won. Winner of the Best First Book was The Year of The Shanghai Shark by Mo Zhi Hong of New Zealand. Check out all the shortlisted titles in each region at the Commonwealth Foundation website: The overall winner of the Best Book and Best First Book prizes (chosen from the winners in each region) will be announced in May 2009.

Seniors Trivia Winners impress with local knowledge

The winning table at Friday's Seniors Week Trivia Afternoon (pictured above: Merle Lummis, Betty Wilson, Janette Giffin, Kerrel Moor, Carol Jamieson, Rosemary and Keith Curry (at the back) absent for the photo was Felicity Cosgrove) proved they were no slouches in the local knowledge department even gaining extra points for being able to sing the Song of Australia (don't tell anyone – but they used to sing it a school). Although all the teams struggled in Round 2 (thanks for the tough questions Peter!) everyone had a lot of fun. Questions like what time does Storytime start? How many roundabouts in Byng Street? What is the height of Mt Canobolas in metres or feet? Allowed most teams to catch up and it was a close contest. The afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones served al fresco provided a welcome break for the competitive teams. It made for a Happy Seniors Week!

NSW Premiers Literary Awards Shortlist

Arts NSW report that at a lunchtime ceremony today held at the Mint, Premier Nathan Rees announced the shortlist for 2009 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and the introduction of a new People's Choice Award to mark the 30th anniversary of Australia's first Premier's Literary Awards. Read more about the awards and writers on the shortlist at the Premier's Literary Awards website and vote for your favourite title in the People's Choice Awards. Here are some of the nominated writers:

** 2009 The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction shortlisted writers are…

Helen Garner – The Spare Room

Kate Grenville – The Lieutenant

Joan London – The Good Parents

Steve Toltz – A Fraction of the Whole

Tim Winton – Breath

** 2009 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction shortlisted writers are…

James Boyce – Van Diemen's Land

Robert Gray – The Land I Came Through Last

Chloe Hooper – The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

Dmetri Kakmi – Mother Land

Jacqueline Kent – An Exacting Heart: The Story of Hephzibah Menuhin

Christina Thompson – Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All

** 2009 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry shortlisted writers are…

Michael Brennan – Unanimous Night

David Brooks – The Balcony

Sarah Holland-Batt – Aria

LK Holt – Man Wolf Man

Kerry Leves – A Shrine to Lata Mangeshkar

Alan Wearne – The Australian Popular Songbook.

The 2009 winners will be announced on May 18.