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Australian Independent Booksellers are thrilled to announce Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia) as their favourite Australian book from last year and the winner of The Indie Book Awards 2019 Book of the Year. The bookseller judges’ commented that: “Dalton’s characters and writing style are what make this book the standout. The language and phrasing used truly evoke a sense of place and time, and the numerous anecdotes and smaller details connect you to a cast of unique characters that are difficult to forget.”.

The Awards recognise and celebrate the indie booksellers as the number one supporters of Australian authors. What makes our Indies uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Aussie books of the past year to their customers and readers, is their incredible passion and knowledge, their contribution to the cultural diversity of the Australian reading public by recommending books beyond the big brands, and their love of quality writing.

The individual category winners in Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s and Young Adult were also announced. From these five category winners, the independent booksellers selected the best of the best – The 2019 Indie Book of the Year.

Without further ado, here are the Category Winners of the 2019 Indie Book Awards:


Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia) FICTION WINNER: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (Picador Australia)

NON-FICTION WINNER: The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House Australia)


Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)

ILLUSTRATED NON-FICTION WINNER: Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Travel)

CHILDREN’S WINNER: Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)


A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin)

The Indies are considered the forerunners of all major Australian book awards. Since the Awards inception in 2008, the Indies have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Previous winners include: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, The Dry by Jane Harper; The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood; The Bush by Don Watson; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; All That I Am by Anna Funder; The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do; Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey; and

by Tim Winton

The Indie Book Awards would like to gratefully acknowledge the 2019 Awards Sponsors: Peribo, Pan Macmillan Australia, Affirm Press, Allen & Unwin, Thames & Hudson Australia, Hardie Grant Egmont, Text Publishing and Awards partner: Books+Publishing. Proudly supported by Leading Edge Books.

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