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Anh Do wins top book award

Comedian and author Anh Do has won the top prize for his novel ‘The Happiest Refugee’ at Australia’s top book awards.


Sydney-based Do won Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards in Melbourne last night. His family fled from Vietnam to Australia in a fishing boat in 1980 as refugees.

Do, best known for his leading role in the film Footy Legends, was also joint winner of The Biography of the Year with musician Paul Kelly.

Based on a series of concerts first staged in 2004, Kelly’s memoir, How to Make Gravy, lists 100 of his songs in alphabetical order followed by stories about them. Some pieces are confessional, some tell Kelly’s personal and family history, and some take you on a road tour with the band.

The annual awards allocated 20 prizes to authors, booksellers and publishers from the past year. The winners are chosen by an academy of booksellers and publishers.

Australian Booksellers Association president Jon Page said he was immensely proud of Australia’s book industry.

“Australians read more books per capita than any other nation and the Australian book industry is one of the most vibrant in the English-speaking world.”

Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours won General Fiction Book of the Year and Chris Womersley’s Bereft won Literary Fiction Book of the


The Lloyd O’Neil Award for outstanding service to the Australian book industry was awarded to the doyenne of Australian cooking, Margaret Fulton.

She is the first woman in six years and the first cookbook writer to win the award.

The current obsession with food was also reflected in the Illustrated Book of the Year category, which was won by former MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin for Our Family Table.

Multi-award winning writer Alison Lester won Book of the Year for Younger Children for Noni the Pony and Gabrielle Lord won Book of the Year for Older Readers with Conspiracy 365.


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