Here’s what our judges said about the winning books:
Fiction winner Foal’s Bread is “written in transfixing prose and with an, at times, aching affinity for the harsh landscape the book describes.”
Poetry winner Interferon Psalms “encompasses not only the meditative intensities of the dark night of the soul but a tragicomic vision which is by turns dramatic, alarming and luminous in its formal expression.”
Young adult fiction winner When We Were Two is “faultlessly constructed and told with brilliantly understated, tragi-comic dialogue… This is historical fiction of rare accomplishment.”
Unanimously recommended by the judges as the children’s fiction winner Goodnight, Mice! is “an almost perfect bedtime book.”
Non-fiction winner An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark is “essential reading for all Australians seeking to understand the transformation of Australian cultural nationalism in the second half of the twentieth century.”
Winner of the Australian History Prize The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia “demonstrates a rare capacity to open a fresh horizon, capturing both history and his reader.”
Now in its fifth year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards recognise and reward excellence in Australian literature and history.
In 2012 the winner of each category was awarded $80,000 and each shortlisted author received $5000.
For more information and to read samples of all the shortlisted books visit www.arts.gov.au/pmliteraryawards