One of News Corp Australia’s top writers has just made history at the book industry’s night of nights, winning across four categories with his debut novel.
Trent Dalton smashed expectations at the Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney with Boy Swallows Universe, his loosely autobiographical coming-of-age tale set in suburban Brisbane.
The story took overall Book of the Year, Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year and Audiobook of the Year — the latest in a string of awards for the bestseller, published by HarperCollins Australia.
A delighted HarperCollins Australia CEO James Kellow saluted the feat, saying: “To win one ABIA would have been sensational, so to win four and create ABIA history is exceptional and speaks volumes about the quality of Trent’s novel and the heart of the author.”
The big night came after a massive few months for the never-resting family man.
Dalton, who writes prolifically for the Weekend Australian magazine and is a favourite of our own Sunday Book Club, has also recently penned a rock star account of the First Fleet called By Sea and Stars .
With a world publicity tour looming and film options for Boy Swallows Universe under discussion, he’ll be keeping busy for a while longer.
His win at the ABIAs puts Dalton alongside not just literary royalty but rock royalty — HarperCollins stablemate Jimmy Barnes scooped gongs there in 2017 and 2018 for his autobiographical volumes Working Class Boy and Working Class Man.
Among other winners this year were Holly Ringland, taking out the General Fiction category for The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Bri Lee — winning the Biography category with Eggshell Skull — and children’s writer Andy Griffiths for The 104-Storey Treehouse.