Monday, September 28, 2009

Jasper Jones, the highly acclaimed novel by West Australian author Craig Silvey, has been named the winner of the 2009 Indie Book of the Year.

Now in its second year, The Indie Book Award is chosen by Australia's independent booksellers who select their favourite Australian authors of the last 12 months.

Panels of expert judges (all avid readers and indie booksellers) choose winners in four book categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s. These four category winners form the shortlist and independent booksellers from across the country then vote to select the best of the best - The Indie Book of the Year for 2009. The winning author will receive prize money of $15,000. Last year’s inaugural winner was Tim Winton for Breath.
Jayne Wasmuth, General Manager at Leading Edge Books, the awards organisers said, “Australia’s independent bookshops have fallen in love with Craig Silvey and the colourful cast of characters from his breakout novel – Jasper Jones. There was absolutely no doubt, this book was the clear winner among indies as the Book of the Year for 2009.
We had very strong contenders in Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man (Non Fiction), Sonia Orchard’s The Virtuoso (Debut Fiction) and Sally Murphy and Heather Potter’s Pearl Verses the World (Children’s Book). But it was our Fiction category winner – Jasper Jones – that quickly took the lead as the votes came in.”

Craig Silvey grew up in Western Australia and now lives in Fremantle.
At the age of 19, he wrote his first novel, Rhubarb, published by Fremantle Press in 2004. In 2005, best-selling Rhubarb, was chosen as the ‘One Book’ for the Perth International Writers’ Festival, and was included in the national Books Alive campaign.
Silvey also received a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist Award. In 2007, Silvey released The World According To Warren, a picture book affectionately starring the guide-dog from Rhubarb. In early 2008, he completed his second novel, Jasper Jones, with the aid of an Australia Council New Work Grant. Outside of literature, Silvey is the singer/songwriter for the band The Nancy Sikes!

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