Since 2008, the Indie Book Awards have been celebrating both the work of independent Aussie booksellers and the books they’ve raved about to customers over the previous year.
Last night, the 2019 winners were announced, with Trent Dalton’s coming of age tale Boy Swallows Universe taking out the top honour of Book of the Year.Speaking of his win, Dalton said:
I am so unbelievably happy and so truly honoured that Boy Swallows Universe has won the Indie Book of the Year. This book comes from a very personal place for me, from the depths of my soul, and the wonderful indie booksellers put that story in the hands of Australian readers – this book would be nothing without those amazing booksellers.
Boy Swallows Universe, set in 1980’s Brisbane, also took out the award for Debut Fiction, with Markus Zusak’s much anticipated Bridge of Clay coming out on top in the Fiction category. Chloe Hooper’s The Arsonist, an investigation into the deliberately set Churchill fires of 2009, was named Non-Fiction winner, while Marcia Langton’s Indigenous travel guide Welcome to Country was announced best in Illustrated Non-Fiction.
Young Adult and Children’s Fiction also received nods, with Barry Jonsberg’s A Song Only I Can Hear and Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee taking home the respective category wins.
Nominees were provided by independent bookstores across Australia, with a judging panel brought in to select the shortlist and eventual category winners. In order to be nominated, the book must have been published between 1 January and 31 December of the previous year, and be entirely authored and illustrated (if applicable) by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
For more information on the awards and the winning books, check out the Indie Book Awards website.