Hear ye, hear ye, oh book-loving people of the internet! The good folk over at the Indie Book Awards have announced the 2022 winner and we’re not shooketh one bit.
ICYMI, the Indie Book Awards aims to recognise the best Aussie talent, as chosen by independent booksellers. So whether you’re looking for a new title to add to your TBR pile or you’re just a bonafide book snob, why not scroll down and see if your favourite has won their category this year?
Without further ado, let’s find out who wiped the floor with the Indie Book Awards.
Well?! Can’t say we weren’t surprised and you shouldn’t be either! Proving that he’s not only a master of fiction, our old mate Trent Dalton compiled this beautiful collection of love stories from a bunch of randos he came across while sitting on a corner for two months. Imagine finding out that that “daggy” guy who asked you to tell him a love story turned your life into an award-winning book.
Trent Dalton isn’t some new face on the block. You might remember his debut book Boy Swallows Universe (which is the latest book to be signed off to Netflix) or his bestselling novel All Our Shimmering Skies.
Here’s what Australia’s darling author had to say about taking out his second win in this award:
“I am thrilled and gobsmacked and humbled and deeply grateful. I got all cheeseball weepy when I got the news. I got all sentimental about this beautiful recognition because this book means so much to me and because Australia’s independent booksellers mean everything to the Australian book industry. I sat on a corner for two months asking random strangers to tell me love stories but every passing day of every passing year our independent booksellers are sharing love stories with their incredible customers through that sacred transaction of buying and selling these paper treasures we call books. Thank you to the booksellers for this incredible award.”
Bless ya cotton socks, Trent Dalton!
If you’re keen to know what exactly this book is about, then you can check out the blurb below:
“Trent Dalton, Australia’s best-loved writer, goes out into the world and asks a simple, direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’
A blind man yearns to see the face of his wife of thirty years. A divorced mother has a secret love affair with a priest. A geologist discovers a three-minute video recorded by his wife before she died. A tree lopper’s heart falls in a forest. A working mum contemplates taking photographs of her late husband down from her fridge. A girl writes a last letter to the man she loves most, then sets it on fire. A palliative care nurse helps a dying woman converse with the angel at the end of her bed. A renowned 100-year-old scientist ponders the one great earthly puzzle he was never able to solve: ‘What is love?’”
Fiction winner — Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
- Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
“Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team tasked with reintroducing fourteen grey wolves into the remote Highlands. Despite fierce opposition from the locals, Inti’s wolves surprise everyone by thriving, and she begins to let her guard down, even opening up to the possibility of love. But when a local farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, she makes a reckless decision to protect them, testing every instinct she has.
But if her wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will she do when the man she’s been seeing becomes the main suspect?”
- Devotion by Hannah Kent
- Treasure and Dirt by Chris Hammer
- The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson
Non-Fiction winner — Love Stories by Trent Dalton
- Love Stories by Trent Dalton
“Inspired by a personal moment of profound love and generosity, Trent Dalton, bestselling author and one of Australia’s finest journalists, spent two months in 2021 speaking to people from all walks of life, asking them one simple and direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’”
- Who Gets to Be Smart by Bri Lee
- Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry by Richard Flanagan
- Larrimah by Caroline Graham and Kylie Stevenson
Debut Fiction winner — The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart
- The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart
“In the cold, wet summer of 1960, 11-year-old Joy Henderson lives in constant fear of her father. Decades later, she returns to the family’s farm to nurse him on his death bed. To her surprise, her “perfect” sister Ruth is also there, whispering dark words, urging revenge. Then, the day after their father finally confesses to a despicable crime, Joy finds him dead – with a belt pulled tight around his neck…
For Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, investigating George’s murder revives memories of an unsolved case still haunting him since that strange summer of 1960 — the disappearance of nine-year-old Wendy Boscombe. As seemingly impossible facts surface about the Hendersons – from the past and the present – Shepherd suspects that Joy is pulling him into an intricate web of lies and that Wendy’s disappearance is the key to the bizarre truth.”
- We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson
- Love & Virtue by Diana Reid
- When Things Are Alive They Hum by Hannah Bent
Illustrated Non-Fiction winner — Still Life by Amber Creswell Bell
- Still Life by Amber Creswell Bell
“Still Life explores the diverse practices of more than forty contemporary Australian artists and documents a repertoire of styles, subjects, visions and philosophies. Alongside flowers and food – mainstays of the genre – the works within these pages also incorporate objects such as books and beer cans, birds and balloons, adding energy and intrigue to both the composition and the story revealed. This book captures the inanimate beauty of the everyday in a distinctly Australian context, and offers a meditation on human experience and the brevity of life.”
- Where the River Bends by Jane and Jimmy Barnes
- Garden Like a Nonno by Jaclyn Crupi
- Costa’s World by Costa Georgiadis
Children’s winner — Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad
- Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad
“It’s spring, 1942. The sky is blue, the air is warm and sweet with the scent of flowers. And then everything is gone. The flowers, the proud geese, the pretty wooden houses, the friendly neighbours. Only Sasha remains.
But one small boy, alone in war-torn Russia, cannot survive. One small boy without a family cannot survive. One small boy without his home cannot survive. What that small boy needs is an army.”
- Somebody’s Land: Welcome to Our Country by Adam Goodes & Ellie Laing, illustrated by David Hardy
- Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee
- Wandi by Favel Parrett
Young Adult winner — The Monster of Her Age by Danielle Binks
- The Monster of Her Age by Danielle Binks
“Ellie Marsden was born into the legendary Lovinger acting dynasty. Granddaughter of the infamous Lottie Lovinger, as a child Ellie shared the silver screen with Lottie in her one-and-only role playing the child monster in a cult horror movie. The experience left Ellie deeply traumatised and estranged from people she loved.
Now seventeen, Ellie has returned home to Hobart for the first time in years. Lottie is dying and Ellie wants to make peace with her before it’s too late. When a chance encounter with a young film buff leads her to a feminist horror film collective, Ellie meets Riya, a girl who she might be able to show her real self to, and at last comes to understand her family’s legacy.”
- The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough
- The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
- If Not Us by Mark Smith
Litty Committee istwice-monthly book column. Every month, we’ll take you through the newest reads and spotlight a novel we think you might like.
You can catch up on our other Litty Committee recommendations here.