PM Literary Awards nominees name their best books of 2018

Best Books of 2018 - Authors Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Literary Awards

What was the best book you read this year?

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards nominees share their 2018 highlights


Michelle de Kretser, shortlisted for the Fiction prize for The Life to Come:

A standout book from 2018 was No Friend But The Mountains by journalist and Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani. His lucid, poetic and devastating book details the cruelty inflicted on defenceless asylum-seekers by the Australian government.

Also shortlisted for the Fiction Prize:

Fiona Wright, shortlisted in the Poetry category for Domestic Interior:

The best book I read this year was Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic (Brow Books). It’s a wildly energetic and fiercely intelligent book about how we understand the past and deal with trauma, and it left me breathless.

Zana Fraillon, shortlisted in the Young Adult Fiction category for The Ones that Disappeared:

I have read so many wonderful books this year, it is impossible to choose – perhaps the best would be Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love.  This is a beautiful picture book, full of exuberance and joy and I just love it.

Behrouz Boochani - No Friend But the Mountains Maria Tumarkin - Axiomatic Jessica Love - Julian is a Mermaid

Dr Paul Irish, shortlisted for the Australian History category with Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney:

The best book I have read this year is The Dry by Jane Harper. I love books which explore the stories of Australia, and this book combined that with another love of crime fiction, so ticked all the boxes!

Tamsin Janu, shortlisted for Figgy Takes the City in the Children’s Fiction category:

The best book I’ve read this year is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which I had never read before – a very harrowing, thought-provoking novel.

Dr Stuart Kells, shortlisted in the Non-Fiction category for The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders:

This year? Very hard to choose. A great year for memoirs and political books, like Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom. Also for ‘books about books’, such as Christopher De Hamel’s Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts.

Jane Harper The Dry Margaret Atwood The Handmaids Tale Clare Wright You Daughters of Freedom

Prime Ministers Literary AwardsFind out more about the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and see the full list of titles shortlisted in every category HERE.

Winners will be announced in Canberra on 5 December 2018.

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2018.

Fiction: Gerald Murnane for Border Districts (Giramondo Publishing).

Non-Fiction: Richard McGregor for Asia’s Reckoning (Penguin Random House)

Australian History: Dr John Edwards for John Curtin’s War: Vol.1 (Penguin Random House)

Poetry: Brian Castro for Blindness and Rage (Giramondo Publishing)

Children’s Literature: Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King for Pea Pod Lullaby (Allen & Unwin)

Publicity contact: Emma Noble, Noble Words | 0432 899139 |