Despite the lateness, the sudden announcement causes a frenzy of activity. “The captain has notified us that the northern lights are visible to the rear of the ship.”
Within minutes it seems every passenger on Hurtigruten’s MS Nordkapp has appeared on deck in various stages of cold-weather readiness. There is scarcely any conversation. Even the frenzied click of cameras quickly abates. The ethereal green swirls that dance across the clear inky sky are entrancing. Our voyage up the Norwegian coast has promised myriad natural treasures and has already paid off.
We are cruise neophytes wary of setting out aboard the equivalent of a
There’s rich literary pickings in Queensland, Australia, as the shortlist for the Queensland Literary Awards reveals. It used to be the Queensland Premier’s Award until the Government pulled its support but all credit to the businesses and academic organisations that stepped in to provide the funds for the Awards to continue.
There are 42 books, whittled down from more than 200 entries, in the running for awards in more than 10 categories. The spectrum covered is vast. The Man Who Invented Vegemite (that oh-so-Australian spread) by James Callister is one of the six battling it out for Book of the Year. Kristina Olsson’s Boy, Lost tells the heart-wrenching story of the life-long impact on a young woman and her family after her son is stolen from her by an abusive partner. Or there’s Jane Lydon’s The Flash of Recognition which looks at the role of photography as a tool for change and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Or Murray Bail’s The Voyage about Sydney piano manufacturer who travels to Vienna to present his unique concert grand piano. And as Narelle Oliver wisely warns, Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen.
The full roll call of short-listed books and authors is below and you can find out what the judges thought at http://www.queenslandliteraryawards.com/2013-shortlists.html. You can also vote on-line for the Queensland Book of the Year and People’s