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National Biography Award winners announced

Bernadette Brennan’s “brilliant and balanced” portrait of the complicated life of Australian literary figure Gillian Mears has won the $25,000 National Biography Award. 

Her book Leaping into Waterfalls: The Enigmatic Gillian Mears explores the rich, tumultuous life and premature death of the remarkable short story writer and novelist. 

The judges praised Brennan’s “graceful writing and sensitive approach to an enigmatic and often contradictory personality.” 

This year’s $5,000 Michael Crouch Award for a Debut Work went to Amani Haydar for The Mother Wound, a searing and significant memoir that unravels the devastating topic of murder within her own family. 

"Haydar narrates the traumatic events of her life with steadiness and strength... [to] deliver a riveting, complex storyaccount,” said senior Judge Suzanne Falkiner. 

The National Biography Award is supported by the State Library of NSW Foundation. 

See the judges’ comments