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Best Of The Best: Indie Book Awards winners announced

March 19, 2019

Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Indie Book Awards ‘Book of the Year.’ The Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate independent booksellers as the number one supporters of Australian fiction, and maintain a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing.

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.”

Dalton’s debut has been a huge success both in Australia and abroad, selling over 100,000 copies across all formats in Australia alone since its publication in July 2018. The book has become a publishing phenomenon, soon due to be published across all major publishing territories and in more than 28 languages, with screen and theatre rights to be announced in the near future.

Upon learning of his win, Trent Dalton said:

‘I am so unbelievably happy and so truly honoured that Boy Swallows Universe has won the Indie Book of the Year. This book comes from a very personal place for me, from the depths of my soul, and the wonderful indie booksellers put that story in the hands of Australian readers – this book would be nothing without those amazing booksellers. Thank you so much from the bottom of my full and humble heart.’

Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction at HarperCollins says, ‘It is just a joy to watch so many people – in Australia and around the world – fall in love with such a special novel. Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe is a glorious, big-hearted, irresistible Australian classic, which is going to be loved by readers for years to come.’

Whilst Boy Swallows Universe claimed the overall ‘Book of the Year’ prize, there are also winners across a range of categories. The entire winners list for the 2019 Indie Book Awards is as follows:




Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)



Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (Picador Australia)



The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House Australia)




Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Australia)



Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Travel)



Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)




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


To read more about The Indies, and to read statements from all prize-winners, visit the website.



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