2006 - A Year in Australian Literature


  • Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, and I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak are named as Honor Books in the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
  • Dr Inga Clendinnen awarded an Officer (AO) in the General Division in the Australia Day Honors list


  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville is named the winner of the South East Asia and South Pacific Region section of the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
  • Bookseller Jack Bradstreet complains in a letter to Australian Book Review about the printing of Grenville's new novel, as the book's cloth case shows no identifying type - subsequent editions reveal a return to sanity
  • Margo Lanagan's story, "Singing My Sister Down", makes the final ballot for the Short Story Category of the 2005 Nebula Awards


  • Adelaide Writers' Week runs as part of the 2006 Adelaide Festival of Arts
  • J.M. Coetzee takes up Australian citizenship in front of Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, with Cornelia Rau - falsely detained by immigration officials in 2005 - standing at his shoulder
  • 2006 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature winners announced - with Gail Jones taking out the main prize for her novel Sixty Lights
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville is named the overall winner of the Best Book of the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
  • 2006 Miles Franklin Award Longlist announced
  • After appearing on nationwide US breakfast television Markus Zusak's novel, The Book Thief, hits #1 on the Amazon book list
  • Margo Lanagan's story, "Singing My Sister Down", continues its remarkable run by being nominated for a Hugo (Science Fiction Achievement) Award. K.J. Bishiop is nominated for a John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • William Elliott's manuscript, The Pilo Family Circus, is named the inaugural winner of the ABC Fiction Award


  • John Hughes is annnounced as the winner of the 2006 National Biography Award for his book The Idea of Home
  • the 2006 Ditmar Award Winners are announced with Sean Williams and Shane Dix winning the main award for their novel Geodesica: Ascent
  • Geraldine Brooks wins the 2006 Pultizer Prize for Fiction for her novel March
  • Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, complains about the modern school English syllabus, stating that it is being "dumbed down"
  • Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany is shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize
  • ex Miles Franklin award judge, Kerryn Goldsworthy, speculates on the make-up of the 2006 shortlist and picks the complete set which is announced a few hours later - the sky does not fall and her local betting shop remains untroubled


  • Peter Carey's ex-wife, Alison Summers, takes a swipe at the author, accusing him of using his fiction to settle some old scores. She refers to a minor character in Carey's novel Theft: A Love Story (called The Plaintiff) and announces she is also writing a novel, titled Mrs Jekyll
  • Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, is awarded the 2006 Kathleen Mitchell Award, a $7500 prize given biennially to encourage Australian authors under 30
  • the shortlist for the 2006 Australian Literary Society Gold Medal is announced
  • Brenda Walker is announced as the winner of the 2006 Nita B. Kibble Award for Women's Life Writing, for her novel The Wing of Night
  • ABC Television announces its return to literature broadcasting with the scheduling of "The First Tuesday Book Club", first program to screen in August
  • the winners of the 2006 NSW Premier's Literary Awards are announced, with Kate Grenville's The Secret River picking up the main fiction award
  • nominations open for the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2006 - Australia's richest literary prize


  • Hachette Livre announces it intends to launch a major new SF and Fantasy imprint in Australia
  • Johnno by David Malouf, his novel of post-war Brisbane, is adapted for the stage with its world premiere scheduled for this year's Brisbane Arts Festival on July 14th
  • Grant Stone's long-running, Perth-based sf and fantasy radio program, Faster Than Light, starts podcasting its programs
  • Kate Morton's novel, The Shifting Fog, is sold in 11 countries in a two-book deal approaching seven figures
  • Roger McDonald's novel, The Ballad of Desmond Kale is announced as the winner of the 2006 Miles Franklin Award


  • the ABC board decides against publishing the new Chris Masters book Jonestown, an unauthorised biography of Alan Jones, a Sydney radio presenter
  • the Australian Classification Review Board bans two radical Islamic books, prompting calls from the Australian Attorney-General for the Board to provide with even tougher laws
  • Angus & Robertson, one of Australia's largest chain of bookshops, announces plans to expand its nationwide network of 170 stores by adding another 45 over the next two years
  • Emily Maguire's first novel, Taming the Beast, is longlisted for the inaugural Dylan Thomas prize, for writers under 30


  • Marion Lennox wins the Best Traditional Romance category of the 2006 Romance Writers of America Rita awards, for her novel Princess of Convenience
  • ABC television's "First Tuesday Book Club" premieres to reasonable reviews
  • "The Australian" newspaper submits a chapter of a Patrick White novel to a number of Australian publishers under a pseudonym - none of them opt to publish the work
  • the longlist for the 2006 Man Booker Prize is released - three Australians make the list
  • Australian playwright Alex Buzo dies after a long illness, he was 62


  • the 2006 "Age" Book of the Year Award winners are announced: Velocity by Mandy Sayer for Non-Fiction; Friendly Fire by Jennifer Maiden for Poetry; and Dead Europe by Christos Tsialkos for Fiction; with Maiden also winning for Best Book
  • the 2006 Ned Kelly Award winners (for crime fiction) are anounced: Crook as Rookwood by Chris Nyst tied with The Broken Shore by Peter Temple in the Novel category; Out of the Silence by Wendy James won Best First Novel; and Packing Death by Lachlan McCullough won for Best Non-Fiction
  • the 2006 Victorian Premier's Literary Award winners are announced with Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey winning the main Fiction Award
  • Colin Thiele, award-winning children's author of such books as Storm Boy and Sun on the Stubble, dies - he was 85
  • the 2006 Man Booker Prize Shortlist is announced, with The Secret River by Kate Grenville, and Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland making the final list of six novels
  • the 2006 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards winners are announced, with The Garden Book by Brian Castro winning the main fiction award
  • the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies announces the 2005 winner of the Colin Roderick Award as The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
  • Belinda Castles wins the 2006 "The Australian"/Vogel Literary Award for her novel The River Baptists


  • Gwen Meredith, script-writer for the long-running radio serial "Blue Hills" dies at the age of 99
  • Kiran Desai's novel, The Inheritance of Loss, is announced as the winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize
  • after being denied publication by ABC Books in July, Jonestown by Chris Masters, is finally published by Allen and Unwin - it is an immediate best-seller
  • Alexandra Adornetto, a 14-year-old Melbourne high school student signs a two-book deal with publisher HarperCollins - her first novel The Shadow Thief is due to be published in the middle of 2007
  • Readings Bookshops is presented with "The Age"/D&B Business Award in the retail category


  • a large treasure trove of missing papers belonging to Patrick White is revealed to the public. Contrary to the wishes expressed in White's will, his literary executor, Barbara Mobbs, did not destroy the material but kept it and has since offered it to the National Library of Australia
  • 11 Australian novels make the extended longlist for the 2007 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
  • Tim Flannery is awarded the Lannan Foundation Literary Award, for his "excellence in nonfiction".
  • Morris Lurie is announced as the winner of the 2006 Patrick White Award
  • Helen Garner wins the 2006 Melbourne Prize for Literature for a body of work that "has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature and to cultural and intellectual life", and Christos Tsiolkas wins the best writing prize for a writer under 40, for his novel Dead Europe
  • "The New York Times" includes Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir by Robert Hughes in its list of the best 100 books of the year
  • Scholastic Australia drops plans to publish John Dale's children's thriller, Army of the Pure, citing a survey which showed that booksellers and librarians would not stock the book because the villain is a Muslim terrorist


  • the month is dominated by one best books of the year list after another
  • nominations are released for the 2006 Aurealis Awards

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 1, 2007 3:23 PM.

2006 Aurealis Award Nominations was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #45 - Swimming in Silk by Darren Williams is the next entry in this blog.

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