Friday, October 17, 2008

Australia-Asia Literary Award Longlist Announced

The longlist for the richest literary award in Australia and Asia, The Australia-Asia Literary Award, was announced today. CSU Library has many of the longlisted titles available, so if you click on one of the Check Availability links, you'll be taken to that book in the Catalogue.

Authors in the running for the AUD $110,000 prize are:
  • Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee Diary of a Bad Year is about loneliness, friendship and the possibility of love. It takes the reader from Australian democracy to Guantanamo Bay, from the meaning of dishonour to the creative truth of dreams. Check Availability
  • The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon The Trout Opera - more than ten years in the writing - is a stunning epic novel that encompasses twentieth-century Australia. Opening with a Christmas pageant on the banks of the Snowy River in 1906 and ending with the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, it is the story of simple rabbiter and farmhand Wilfred Lampe who, at the end of his long life, is unwittingly swept up into an international spectacle. Check Availability
  • The Lost Dog by Michelle De Kretser Tom Loxley is holed up in a remote bush shack trying to finish his book on Henry James when his beloved dog goes missing. What follows is a triumph of storytelling, as The Lost Dog loops back and forth in time to take the reader on a spellbinding journey into worlds far removed from the present tragedy. Set in present-day Australia and mid-twentieth century India, here is a haunting, layered work that brilliantly counterpoints new cityscapes and their inhabitants with the untamed, ancient continent beyond. With its atmosphere of menace and an acute sense of the unexplained in any story, it illuminates the collision of the wild and the civilised, modernity and the past, home and exile. Check Availability
  • Blood Kin by Ceridwen Dovey – A president is overthrown by a military coup in a nameless country, and in the midst of mass arrests, three members of the Presidential household—his barber, chef, and portraitist—are taken hostage in a remote mountain palace. Before the coup, these men worked with unquestioning loyalty, serving the President in the seemingly benign tasks of grooming him, nourishing him, and rendering his image to be hung in Parliament. But as the old order falls, the truth about these men and the significant women in their lives is revealed, and the web of complicity and duplicity begins to unravel
  • Love Without Hope by Rodney Hall – The elderly Mrs Shoddy suffers acute depression as a result of a bushfire that kills her beloved horses. A capable countrywoman, she loses her grip and is living in squalor when the district nurse finds her and has her committed to an insane asylum. The time is 1982; the place, a country town in NSW. The NSW Department of Lunacy is still in operation, headed by an official with the title The Master in Lunacy. In this powerful novel, finding herself pitted against the power of the state, Mrs Shoddy calls on her memories of her missing husband, on the spirit of her horses and on the recovery of her self-respect and resilience to create a world in which she can remain sane, even against the institutional brutality she is subjected to. And the characters in her mind become as palpable as the real people she is surrounded by. Check Availability
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid – Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned and his relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love. Check Availability
  • Burning In by Mireille Juchau – In her late twenties, Martine Hartmann moves from Sydney to New York to pursue her career as a photographer, leaving behind her mother Lotte, a holocaust survivor. Nine years later, Martine's daughter Ruby goes missing in Central Park. Ruby's disappearance throws Martine into an emotional struggle which threatens to overwhelm her, but which also, in time, brings her to understand Lotte's anxieties and inhibitions, and to discover the act of abandonment at their heart. Check Availability
  • The Complete Stories by David Malouf – David Malouf's imagination inhabits shocking violence, quick humor, appealing warmth and harsh cruelty with equal intensity. He shares tales of bookish boys, taciturn men and intimate stories of men and women looking for something they seem to have missed, or missed out on. This is a comprehensive compilation of David's shorter work. Stories are set in the stark and challenging Australian interior and the more lush and mysterious coastal enclaves; others are set in Australia's past. Check Availability
  • Landscape of Farewell by Alex Miller - Haunting, meaningful and deeply moving, "Landscape of Farewell” is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his realisation that he will never write the great study of history that he always thought would be his life’s crowning work, Max is comtemplating putting an end to his life. Yet when he travels to Australia he forms an unlikely friendship with Dougald Gnapun, an Aboriginal elder.It is a friendship that not only saves his life and gives him new meaning and purpose, but teaches him of the profound importance of truth-telling in his reconciliation with his past, and country’s past. Check Availability
  • After Dark by Haruki Murakami - A sleek, gripping novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the spooky hours between midnight and dawn, by an internationally renowned literary phenomenon.
  • Animal’s People by Indra Sinha – Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, the catastrophic result of what happened on That Night when, thanks to an American chemical company, the Apocalypse visited his slum.Now not quite twenty, he leads a hand-to-mouth existence with his dog Jara and a crazy old nun called Ma Franci, and spends his nights fantasising about Nisha, the daughter of a local musician, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.
  • Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital Leela is a gifted mathematician who has escaped her small Southern town to study in Boston. From the first moment she hears Mishka, a young Australian musician, playing his violin in a subway, his music grips her, and they quickly become lovers. Their souls, bodies, lives are fused, and love offers protection of sorts from the violence and anxiety around them, until Leela is taken off the street to an interrogation centre somewhere outside the city. There has been an 'incident', an explosion on the underground; terrorists are suspected, security is high. And her old childhood friend Cobb is conducting a very questionable investigation. Check Availability

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:40 pm

    I recommend The lost dog - it is a very enjoyable book. Hope it wins.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:41 pm

    Hello, i tried to fill in the survey but it jammed up on my ancient computer. I wanted to vote for the Trout Opera which is such a strange and interesting book. Not sure if I loved it but i couldn't put it down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,
    Sorry the poll didn't work for you on your computer. I have placed a vote on Trout Opera for you. It will be interesting to see if the book that actually wins is as popular with our Blog readers.

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete