The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt shortlisted for 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards

I’m just delighted that The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt is shortlisted in the Fiction category of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

Here’s the shortlist for the Fiction category:

All the Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld (Random House Australia)

Coal Creek – Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)

Elemental – Amanda Curtin (UWA Publishing)

Eyrie – Tim Winton (Penguin Group Australia)

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt – Tracy Farr (Fremantle Press)

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia)

There I am, nestled in between Winton and Flanagan, along the list from Miles Franklin Award 2014 winner Evie Wyld. I’m more than a little chuffed that mine’s the only first novel on the shortlist.

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt has a broad geographic canvas, moving through Singapore, Malacca, Sydney, Dunedin, Europe and the US, but it has Perth’s Cottesloe Beach – where I grew up – firmly at its heart. In lots of ways the novel is a love letter to the Perth that I left behind when I moved away, when I was in my late twenties. That makes this shortlisting for the Western Australian Premier’s awards all the sweeter.

My wonderful publisher Fremantle Press has six titles in five of the nine categories in the awards. I’m also so pleased to be on the Fiction shortlist with Amanda Curtin (Elemental) and Evie Wyld (All the Birds, Singing) in the Fiction category, and to see Yvette Walker (Letters to the End of Love) and Dawn Barker (Fractured) shortlisted in the Western Australian Emerging Writers category. I met all four women at Perth Writers Festival in February this year, and their novels were among my favourite reads of the last six months.

The winners of all categories will be announced on 22 September.

The six novels shortlisted for the Fiction category are also eligible for the People’s Choice AwardsVoting is open online until 29 August 2014 (for WA residents only).


Links and selected press

Wellington author shortlisted for Australian book prize
Beattie’s Book Blog, 31 July 2014

Vote online for People’s Choice Awards
Vote (WA residents only) for your favourite. Voting closes 29 August 2014

Read reviews of the shortlisted titles for the Fiction category of the WA Premier’s Book Awards on The West Australian‘s books pages at (including review of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt)

Shortlist for WA Premier’s Book Awards
Shortlist announcement, 29 July 2014

Judges report
WA Premier’s Book Awards

WA Premier’s Book Award shortlist
Fremantle Press news, 29 July 2014

Short-list for WA book prize
Article by Amanda Ellis, The West Australian, 30 July 2014


The WA Premier’s Book Award fiction category was won by The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Richard Flanagan). Read more

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