26 March 2014 - Independent booksellers of Australia announced The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan as their favourite Australian book from last year and the winner of The Indie Book of the Year Award 2014.
The winners in the category of Fiction, Non-fiction, Debut Fiction and Children's & YA were also announced:
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia)
Girt by David Hunt (Black Inc)
DEBUT FICTION AWARD:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin Australia)
Voted on by the independent booksellers of Australia, the Indie Book Awards have a proud tradition of picking the best in Australian writing. All of the previous winners (Breath by Tim Winton, Jasper Jones by Craig Sylvie, The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, All That I Am by Anna Funder, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman) have gone on to win other major literary awards.
Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould's Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries. He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?
Upon announcement, Richard Flanagan said
If there is a motif for my novel it is the circle, and it seems fitting that a book whose public life began with me speaking about it at the Leading Edge conference last year now sees me return here to thank you, the independent booksellers, for this award.
2013 was a golden year for Australian books. Across fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books there were so many outstanding works that sold in record numbers. In what is in many ways a time of despair and difficulty for those in the world of books, I want to thank Australian independent bookshops not only for this award but for making this small miracle possible.
Good Australian writing needs good Australian bookshops to prosper. Without them Australian writers are one more endangered species whose bush has been bulldozed. That we have not only survived, but shown that Australian writing remains popular and profitable is a great achievement that deserves celebration.
And for that the real prize goes to all the Australian independent booksellers who backed not only me with such passion and such commitment, but who have backed so many Australian writers. I am grateful for this prize, but I am indebted for that support. Without it I—and so many others— would not be writers. Ponder, for a moment, what Australia would be without Australian books. That they continue to be written is as much your achievement as it is our vocation. Thank you.
According to Galina Marinov, Buyer/Marketing Manager, Leading Edge Books, “As with all great literature, this is a book that can be read on many levels - a deeply moving novel of one man’s life, a devastatingly beautiful love story, a harrowing historical narrative daring us never to forget and most of all, as an ode to the resilience of the human spirit. All this makes it a dream book in the hands of independent booksellers – to read, to love and to recommend wholeheartedly to their customers.”