National Biography Award 2011 - Shortlist Announced!

The shortlist for the National Biography Award 2011 has been announced.

This award was established in 2011 to encourage high standards of writing biographies and autobiographies and to promote the genre. It is administered by the State Library of NSW on behalf of its benefactors Dr Geoffrey Cains and Dr Michael Crouch AO.

Each year the winner receives $20 000 in prize money so if you have a story that needs to be told why not write it and enter the 2012 competition?

The awards are announced at a special presentation at the State Library on Monday 16th May.

Who do you think should win?


Alan 'The Red Fox' Reid : Pressman par Excellence / Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt
Arguably Australia's most influential political journalist, Alan 'The Red Fox' Reid covered Australian politics from the 1930s to the 1980s. During his career he was both a chronicler of, and a player in, Australian politics.In this book, Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt take us into a Machiavellian behind-the-scenes world of recurrant plots, crises and leadership challenges, and show how it was possible for a skilled journalist to help shape both public perceptions and actual outcomes of political power plays.

Grand obsessions / Alasdair McGregor
This tells the story of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Walter's most significant achievement in Australia was the design of Canberra. His wife Marion, while lesser known to the Australian public was also an architect, poineer and creative partner of Walter. This book chronicles the lives of these two incredible people, both as individuals in their own right and as a partnership.

My Father's Daughter / Sheila Fitzpatrick
Sheila Fitzpatrick is the daughter of Australian author, journalist and historian Brian Fitzpatrick. From a young age, her father teaches her to think critically and as an adult she uses this critical thinking to paint a portrait of her father and her family life. As her girlhood adoration for her father turns to skepticism, she flees from Melbourne to Oxford to start a new life but finds that it is not so easy to escape being her father's daughter.

Piano Lessons / Anna Goldsworthy
Anna Goldsworthy recalls her life in music from childhood lessons with a local jazz muso to international success as a concert pianist. Along the way she learns far more than tone and technique - she learns about ambition, success, doubt and disappointment. This is the story of the getting of wisdom - tender and bittersweet.

Playing with Fire : The Controversial Career of Hans J Eysenck / Roderick Buchanan
There is probably no other psychologist who has aroused such contrary reactions from the public and from the scientific community as Hans Eysenck. Playing with Fire is a full length biography of Eysenck's career starting with his childhood growing up in Germany, the origins of his key ideas and the clashes he had with his various opponents. This is a provocative book about a provocative man.