The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2015 Winner

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Congratulations to Stephanie Bishop, author of  The Other Side of the World, the winner of the Readings Prize for New Fiction, 2015.

Established in 2014, The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction (originally known as the Readings New Australian Writing Award) supports published Australian authors working in fiction, and recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature. The Prize aims to increase the promotion and commercial success of books by Australian authors, earning them greater recognition from the wider community.


Cambridge 1963

Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes marriage and parenthood bring, with losing the time and the energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, wants things to be as they were and can't face the thought of another English winter.
A brochure slipped through the letterbox gives him the answer: 'Australia brings out the best in you.' Before she has a chance to realise what it will mean, Charlotte is travelling to the other side of the world.
Arriving in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light and slowly reveals that this new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs and how far she'll go to find her way home . . .

Short List


Last day in the Dynamite Factory by Annah Faulkner
Silence, Chris discovered, is easy. If nobody asks, you never have to tell.' Christopher Bright is a well-respected conservation architect, good neighbour and friend. He has a devoted wife, two talented children and an old Rover. He plays tennis on Saturdays and enjoys a beer with his business partner after work. Life is orderly, yet an unresolved question has haunted him for as long as he can remember: Who was his birth father? Devotion to his adoptive parents has always prevented Chris from enquiring too deeply, but when his mother dies, information emerges that becomes the catalyst for changes he has never imagined. As light is cast on his father, attention turns to his birth mother, but when he goes in search of the person behind the photo, he encounters a conspiracy of silence. His quest for information, however, reveals not only the truth about his mother's life but exposes the fault lines in his own, and Chris finds the price of knowledge increasingly heavy. Nevertheless, the truth must be told. Or must it?

In the quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones
A moving, sweet and uplifting novel of love, grief and the heartache of letting go, from a wonderful new Australian author. Cate Carlton has recently died, yet she is able to linger on, watching her three young children and her husband as they come to terms with their life without her on their rural horse property. As the months pass and her children grow, they cope in different ways, drawn closer and pulled apart by their shared loss. And all Cate can do is watch on helplessly, seeing their grief, how much they miss her and how - heartbreakingly - they begin to heal. Gradually unfolding to reveal Cate's life, her marriage, and the unhappy secret she shared with one of her children, In the Quiet is compelling, simple, tender, true - heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure.

Arms race by Nic Low
Data theft, internet memes, advertising, terrorism, indigenous sovereignty, drone warfare, opium addiction, syphilis, the moon landing, mining, oil slicks, climate change, giant octopuses: nothing is spared in this collection. Nic Low's stories go beyond satire, aiming for the dark heart of our collective obsession with technology, power and image.

Set variously in London, an Indian village, remote Mongolia, the West Australian outback and mountainous New Zealand, these are prescient visions of the future and outlandish reimaginings of the past. Arms Race is an arresting debut from a fierce, playful new voice in Australian writing.

Hot little hands by Abigail Ulman
Hot Little Hands contains nine funny, confronting and pitch-perfect stories about stumbling on the fringes of innocence, and the marks desire can leave.  Anya, in her fake-leather sneakers and second-hand clothes, just wants to fit in at her Melbourne school.  Ramona, with her suburban family and clique of friends, is just starting to stand out.  Sascha is on the brink of discovery; Elise and Jenni are well beyond it.  Amelia will do absolutely anything to avoid writing her book.  And Kira wants to capture the world, exactly as she sees it, with her brand-new camera.



Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven
Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award. In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real. Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In 'Heat', we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In 'Water', van Neerven offers a futuristic imagining of a people whose existence is under threat. While in 'Light', familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging. Heat and Light presents a surprising and unexpected narrative journey while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.

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