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Two Picador books shortlisted for the 2019 National Biography Award

June 26, 2019

Two of our Picador authors and their incredible books have made the shortlist for the 2019 National Biography Award.

Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend But the Mountains and Danielle Clode’s The Wasp and the Orchid are both contenders for the prestigious prize.

Congratulations to them both!

The winner will be announced on Monday, 12 August 2019.

See what the judges said about each book:

“A beautiful and powerful piece of writing from detention on Manus Island, where Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani has been held for more than six years. This is compelling storytelling in the samizdat tradition, written in Farsi as a series of text messages sent to his translator and collaborator, Omid Tofighian . . . The writing is poetic and epic, steeped in the tradition of Persian culture and belief systems and framed by analysis of Manus as kyriarchy, an intersection of different systems of oppression. The book is an astonishing act of witness and a testament to the lifesaving power of writing as resistance.”

[from The State Library of New South Wales website]



“This book reclaims the life of a naturalist whose once celebrated research and popular writing has suffered neglect, compounded by the sheer difficulty of tracking her life – Edith Coleman did not leave a well-blazed trail . . . This book is both biography and memoir; a masterpiece of archival detection, intricate orchestration, and vivid recreation. Edith’s homes and gardens in coastal and bush habitats are brought to life with vivid, elegant prose and acute insight. Clode, herself a scientist, wears her learning lightly, as she conveys the difficulties and triumphs of this likeable, imperturbable woman, who managed to be wife, mother, teacher, researcher and communicator without any of the modern advantages of grants, laboratories, research teams and study leave. Clode is also a restrained but compelling presence in the book.”
[from The State Library of New South Wales website]

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