The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

2019 Shortlist 

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Congratulations to the finalists! 

Bodies of Men (Hachette) by Nigel Featherstone

Judges' comments 

Set in Egypt in 1941, Bodies of Men by Nigel Featherstone depicts a tender love story complicated by the conflicted loyalties of war. Distrust, prejudice, secrets and shame compete with friendship, respect and refuge in this tense narrative of desire, sacrifice, persistence and the life-changing risks we are prepared to take for love.

Too Much Lip (UQP) by Melissa Lucashenko

Judges' comments 

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko is an unflinching and raw exploration of race and class that offers historical insights into the legacy of intergenerational trauma. Rage and abhorrence of past events are explored through the strength and connection of family and community in this wonderfully dark and funny narrative.

Shell (Scribner) by Kristina Olsson

Judges' comments 

Shell by Kristina Olsson stages the building of the Sydney Opera House against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Luminescent language, meticulous research and thoughtful sensitivity mark this well-crafted novel about politics, art, war, sacrifice and family.

Exploded View (Text) by Carrie Tiffany

Judges' comments 

Exploed View by Carrie Tiffany is an exquisite yet devastating rendering of a broken family. Through the perspective of a vulnerable and isolated young girl who does not speak, the heartbreak and unrelenting menace of this story is balanced by the spare and beautiful prose, her yearning, her dreams of escape and her determination to rebel through small acts of sabotage. Every word is searing and honest. 

Daughter of Bad Times (Allen & Unwin) by Rohan Wilson

Judges' comments 

Rohan Wilson’s novel Daughter of Bad Times offers an immersive plot combined with a simmering undercurrent of subtext and a chilling message about our times. Set in 2075, the futuristic but realistic setting is a familiar extension of current issues such as climate change, refugees and offshore detention centres, with small moments of optimism captured amid the horror.