Awards: Orwell Winner; Miles Franklin Shortlist

John Bew won the £3,000 (about $3,840) Orwell Prize, which recognizes work that comes closest to George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art," for Citizen Clem: A Biography of Atlee.

Judge Jonathan Derbyshire called the winning book "both a magnificent renewal of the art of political biography and a monument to the greatest leader the Labour party has ever had." Judge Bonnie Greer said, "The timing of The Orwell Prize winner could not be more apt. The political battle in the U.K. since 1948 has always boiled down to one simple fact: the upholding or the whittling away of what Clem Atlee built.... Citizen Clem will go a long way towards re-balancing the Churchillian narrative that currently dominates us." Judge Erica Wagner described the book as "both magisterial and gripping."


At the Australian Booksellers Association annual conference in Melbourne last night a shortlist of five first-time nominees was unveiled for the A$60,000 (about US$45,775) Miles Franklin Award, Australia's most prestigious literary award, given annually "to a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases." The winner will be named September 7 at the State Library of New South Wales. This year's shortlisted titles are:

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire
The Last Days of Ava Langdon by Mark O'Flynn
Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O'Neill
Waiting by Philip Salom
Extinctions by Josephine Wilson 

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