Victoria: The Queen

Victoria: The Queen brings into vivid focus a woman whose inner life was intense, sometimes volatile, and inseparable from the strategic exercise of European and colonial power. In Baird’s biography we meet a very young queen, faced with the challenge of guiding her nation at a moment in history that didn’t readily accommodate powerful women.

The Hate Race

The Hate Race is a moving memoir of national significance, grounded in a tradition of Afro-Caribbean storytelling that recognises the importance of the personal account: “This is how I tell it, or else what’s a story for.”

Poum and Alexandre

Catherine de Saint Phalle’s tender portrait of a lifelong partnership deserves to be an instant classic of the biography genre. The reader is treated to a study of two wonderfully flawed people, meeting in the aftermath of war and negotiating a peculiar union of love and eccentricity.

Offshore

Offshore is a rigorous and comprehensive narrative on one of the central challenges of our times: the care of those who seek asylum in Australia when life in their own countries becomes untenable. The book is an extended exposé of the machinery of offshore processing in a context that does not always encourage visibility or, indeed, community confidence.

The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire

Avalanche

In her first work of nonfiction, novelist and filmmaker Julia Leigh tells the story of what would become a gruelling series of IVF attempts in her late thirties. Avalanche is as much about the desire to be a mother and maternal love as it is a clear-eyed account of a love affair gone wrong and an investigation of a medical industry that trades on hope.

Wasted

Elspeth Muir writes, with measured eloquence, of a devastating event: the death of her cherished younger brother who drowned during an alcohol-fuelled celebration of his final university exams. Questions about celebration, bravado and the mitigation of intoxication from within and outside the family are raised in this engaging, generous and multifaceted book.

The Erratics

“A gripping memoir, Vicki Laveau-Harvie’s The Erratics mines the psychological damage wrought on a nuclear family by a monstrous personality, set against the bitter cold of a Canadian winter. Vicki Laveau-Harvie’s narrative voice is detached, slightly numb and darkly humorous.”
– 2019 Stella Prize Judges

Fathoms: the world in the whale

Fathoms: the world in the whale is a haunting piece of narrative non-fiction that asks pertinent questions about how globalisation, consumption and our obsession with convenience is threatening the environment in connected and devastating ways.

Witness

Louise Milligan’s timely and incredibly important book canvasses the systematic and organised hounding of sexual abuse victims who seek justice in Australian courts. 

Eggshell Skull

Dying: A Memoir

Brisbane writer Cory Taylor’s Dying: A Memoir, written in her final weeks of life, is a slim but remarkable book. This is a rare book about dying that could be given to someone who is seriously ill, confident in its capacity to provide solace and comfort in shared recognition.