Australian Independent Booksellers announced Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Harper Collins Australia) as its favourite Australian book from last year and the winner of The Indie Book Awards 2019 Book of the Year. The bookseller judges’ commented that: “Dalton’s characters and writing style are what make this book the standout. The language and phrasing used truly evoke a sense of place and time, and the numerous anecdotes and smaller details connect you to a cast of unique characters that are difficult to forget”.

Dalton’s debut novel has been embraced by readers around Australia and is now attracting critical acclaim – winning The Indie Book Awards 2019 Book of the Year and the 2019 MUD Literary Prize. Catherine Milne, Head of Fiction at Harper Collins says, “It is just a joy to watch so many people – in Australia and around the world – fall in love with such a special novel. Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe is a glorious, big-hearted, irresistible Australian classic, which is going to be loved by readers for years to come.”

The individual category winners in Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s and Young Adult were also announced. The fiction winner, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (Picador Australia), non-fiction winner, The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House Australia), debut fiction winner, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Harper Collins Australia), illustrated non-fiction winner, Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton (Hardie Grant Travel), children’s winner, Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin) and young adult winner, A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry Jonsberg (Allen & Unwin).

The Indies are considered the forerunners of all major Australian book awards. Since the Awards inception in 2008, the Indies have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards.

Trent Dalton was excited for this win. “I am so unbelievably happy and so truly honoured that Boy Swallows Universe has won the Indie Book of the Year. This book comes from a very personal place for me, from the depths of my soul, and the wonderful indie booksellers put that story in the hands of Australian readers – this book would be nothing without those amazing booksellers. Thank you so much from the bottom of my full and humble heart.”

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