Last night saw the announcement of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, hosted by the incomparable Casey Bennetto. Peter Temple’s masterpiece Truth triumphed in the fiction category, taking out the $30,000 Vance Palmer Prize. This is the third major award for Truth this year after winning the Miles Franklin and the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year.
The judges’ report said ‘Truth is a book on many levels: a crime novel, a morality tale, a dissection of power and corruption, a portrait of a heat-blighted city and its scorched environs, a journey into the heart of a hard man in a man’s world, and those he cannot help loving. Open the book anywhere and Temple’s prose is a marvel of compression where every word is weighted for maximum impact. Despite its density, the reader feels free to move around inside its world and come to their own conclusion about its characters. Savage, lyrical and tender, Truth is simultaneously a focussed view of contemporary Melbourne and a universal story.’
Text Publishing extends a mighty congratulations to Peter.
In the other categories the winners were:
The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction: Reading by Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life by Brenda Walker
The CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry: Possession by Anna Kerdijk
The Louise Esson Prize for Drama: And No More Shall We Part by Tom Holloway
The Prize for Young Adult Fiction: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
The Alfred Deakin Prize for an Essay Advancing Public Debate: Seeing Truganini by David Hansen (Australian Book Review)
The Prize for a First Book of History: Becoming African Americans: Black Public Life in Harlem, 1919-1939 by Clare Corbould
The Prize for Indigenous Writing: Legacy by Larissa Behrendt
The John Curtin Prize for Journalism: Who Killed Mr Ward? by Janine Cohen and Liz Jackson (Four Corners)
The Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Victorian Writer: House of Sticks by Peggy Frew