Congratulations to Kate Grenville and Magda Szubanski, both authors of books on the non-fiction shortlist in the 2016 Indie Book Awards.
The Indie Book Awards were established in 2008 with the aim of creating a unique award recognising the best Australian writing as chosen by Australian independent booksellers.
Both of these remarkable books explore family histories and the legacies they leave behind. Kate Grenville’s One Life is the story of Kate’s mother, Nance. In many ways Nance’s story echoes that of numerous women’s experiences of the twentieth century. But, in an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home and discovered her husband’s secret life as a revolutionary. In her characteristically beautiful prose, Kate Grenville brings to life this moving story.
‘[One Life] is a deeply personal document, it captures the life of an extraordinary woman ahead of her time...As you’d expect of Grenville, this is a poignant and lyrical work.’ Guardian, Best Australian Books, 2015
In Reckoning, Magda Szubanski also examines her family’s story, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland. Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood and her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.
‘Magda Szubanski’s brave, compassionate—and hilarious—Reckoning may be some sort of masterpiece of the form.’ Australian, Best Books of 2015
Watch Magda talking about her father’s wartime experiences, find book club notes, an extract, Magda’s forthcoming events and more on our book page.
The Indies category winners and the overall Book of the Year winner will be announced on Wednesday 23 March 2016 in Sydney.
To see the full shortlists and for more information about the Indies, visit indiebookawards.com.au.