They’ve all won huge international awards in the last 12 months, of course!
The RWA congratulates Tasmanian Richard Flanagan on becoming the third Australian to win the prestigious Mann Booker prize for his book The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Sadly, there’s no HEA in his story, but you can’t have everything, and we’re just pleased to see Richard flying the flag for Australian writers. Besides, we know all romance writers and readers have eclectic tastes and read widely across all sorts of genres.
Richard’s win follows on from that by Kiwi Eleanor Catton’s last year for The Luminaries. If you combine those two wins with our very own Leah Ashton’s RITA for Why Resist a Rebel, then it is safe to say that ANZ writers are super-overachievers punching well above their weight – you’ll have to forgive any mixed metaphors; I’ve got (Southern Cross) stars in my eyes from all the excitement!
Book prizes are important for getting the word out about books to a wide general audience. Aside from the reward of prestige and prize money, short-listed authors see a spike in sales of their books, which climb even higher for the winning title. Organisers of the Mann Booker prize reported at this year’s function that The Luminaries has sold 800,000 copies worldwide (300,000 in the UK and 500,000 in the rest of the world) – and I’m pretty sure they’re talking about printed books which means eBook sales are the icing on the cake. Yum. Here’s hoping that Leah got a little career boost from her win as well.
Do you know of any other ANZs who’ve won international book awards in the last couple of years? If so, please comment and remind us.