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Debra Adelaide wins 2019 Steele Rudd Award

November 13, 2019

Debra Adelaide wins 2019 Steele Rudd Award

Australian author and literary veteran, Debra Adelaide, won big at the 2019 Queensland Literary Award, taking home $10,000 and the Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection. Debra won with her 2019 novella, Zebraa collection of subversive short fiction stories. Zebra is Debra’s second collection of short stories, her first was Letter to George Clooney (2013).

Debra’s most recent work, Innocent Reader (2019), is a book of essays about the relationship between book lovers and their books.

The Queensland Literary Awards is a community-driven program aimed at supporting the work of exceptional Australian writers. Pan Macmillan would like to congratulate Debra on her incredible achievement!


Zebra: And Other Stories

A body buried in a suburban backyard.

A suicide pact worthy of Chekhov.

A love affair born in a bookshop.

The last days of Bennelong.

And a very strange gift for a most unusual Prime Minister…

Tantalising, poignant, wry, and just a little fantastical, this subversive collection of short fiction – and one singular novella – from bestselling author Debra Adelaide reminds us what twists of fate may be lurking just beneath the surface of the everyday.


The Innocent Reader: Reflections on Reading and Writing

Books are impractical companions and housemates: they are heavy when you are travelling, and in the home take up a lot of space, are hard to keep clean, and harbour insects. It is not a matter of the physical book, it is the deep emotional connection that stretches back to my early years. Living without them is unimaginable.

These collected essays share a joyous and plaintive glimpse into the reading and writing life of novelist, editor and teacher of creative writing Debra Adelaide.

Every book I have read becomes part of me, and discarding any is like tearing out a page from my own life.

With immediate wit and intimacy, Adelaide explores what shapes us as readers, how books inform, console and broaden our senses of self, and the constant conversation of authors and readers with the rest of their libraries. Drawing from her experiences in the publishing industry, the academic world, her own life and the literary and critical communities, she paints a vibrant portrait of a life lived in and by books, perfect for any student, bibliophile, editor, or simply: reader.


 Letter to George Clooney

In Glory in the Flower, distinguished but disillusioned British poet, Bill, crosses the world on the promise of a prestigious literary festival only to find himself roughing it with an unlikely group of amateur poets, with surprising results.

One man’s attempt to negotiate the Australian taxation system reads like a noir thriller in The Pirate Map, and the minefield of internet dating in Chance artfully balances the absurd and dark side of the human psyche.

Harder Than Your Husband follows a serious-minded administrator as he attempts to navigate the induction of a new, and rather perplexing, employee.

And the final eclipsing story, Letter to George Clooney, opens a door into a world of terror and deprivation: searing in its devastating restraint, it demonstrates why Adelaide is one of the finest Australian writers of her generation.

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