The State Library would like to congratulate the winners of the 2008 and 2009 Premier’s Book Awards. For a full listing of winners please visit our website. The winning titles are available for purchase from the State Library Shop.
Vincent Serventy, Western Australian born writer and conservationist, has died aged 91. He was the author of over 70 books, all of which can be found at the State Library of Western Australia. During his long life, as well as writing books, he fought many environmental campaigns and hosted a television show called Nature Walkabout.
According to the long obituary in today’s Sydney Morning Herald,
Serventy, who died on Saturday aged 91, was born to Victor and Antica Serventy, who had come from Croatia early last century, met on the Kalgoorlie goldfields and moved to an orchard and vineyard at Armadale, outside Perth, where Vincent was the youngest of eight children. He attended Perth Modern School, graduated in geology and psychology from the University of Western Australia, researched zoology for the CSIRO and taught. One student at Northam High School was Shirley Strickland, the gold medal Olympic athlete who became a committed environmentalist.
Interestingly Serventy was friends with Spike Milligan. In later years, Serventy lived in Sydney. One of his last books, published by Fremantle Press, was 1999′s An Australian Life - Memoirs of a naturalist, conservationist, traveller and writer.
Below is a photograph of magpies taken by Serventy and available in the State Library’s pictorial collection. Its number is 274104PD.
- Nathan Hobby
Western Australian Deborah Robertson has had her first novel, Careless, longlisted for Australia’s most prestigious literary prize – the Miles Franklin Award.
Deborah was born in Bridgetown in 1959. She now teaches creative writing at Murdoch University. Her first book was a collection of short stories called Proudflesh, published in 1997 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press. Both her books are available from your public library. (If they haven’t got them in stock, they can order them in.)
Careless tells of the aftermath of a massacre of children. The Matilda blog has collated different reviews of the novel and is well worth checking out:
Born in 1943, Bruce Russell writes novels and short stories. His first novel, Jacob’s Air, which won the 1995 TAG Hungerford Award. His second novel was The Chelsea Manifesto in 1999. In 2003, he publishes Channelling Henry, a crime novel. All three novels are published by Fremantle Press.
You can borrow his novels from your local public library. If they don’t have it, they can make an interlibrary loan request from another library. And it’s free!
The Matilda blog reports the 2007 National Biography Award Shortlist. The award is administered and presented by the State Library of New South Wales. The shortlisted works are:
Mr Stuart’s Track by John Bailey No Time for Dances by Gillian Bouras
The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science by Paul Doherty
Arthur Tange by Peter Edwards
East of Time by Jacob B Rosenberg
Margaret Olley: Far from a Still Life by Meg Stewart
The winner of the $20,000 award will be announced on Tuesday 27th March.
UPDATE: The winner is Rosenburg’s East of Time.
Writers who want to know about competitions and events in Western Australia should keep an eye on the Writing WA website. It is regularly updated and includes news on literary events in Western Australia.
Last month, the winner of the T.A.G. Hungerford was announced. It is 26 year old Alice Nelson of Nedlands. She is pictured on the Writing WA website with Tom Hungerford himself, who is doing remarkably well at 92! (Last year he even released a book.)
The competition is for the best unpublished manuscript by a previously unpublished Western Australian writer. Past winners include Gail Jones and Simone Lazaroo. The prize money has gone up to $6000, as well as a publishing contract with Fremantle Press.