...Kirsty Eagar for Raw Blue! Yep, that's the book we all held up.
The awards dinner was held last night, and was made spectacularly enjoyable by MC Casey Bennetto - I strongly believe all awards ceremonies should be presented in musical theatre form (especially as the introduction to the award for a First Book of History included the line "She didn't think the colon vital, she didn't pick a compound title"). There was also some amusing cross-room tweeted arguments about which of us was on the kids' table (I reckoned it was us, but was told: "Nup. Bloggers and cartoonists and plus ones on table 4 is kids table.") And then, there was FOOOOOOD:
Kirsty was there to collect her award, and gets extra points for mentioning the awards had been "tantalizingly blogged about". From now on my bio will read "Anna Ryan-Punch: tantalizing blogger."
It is a real thrill to give the award to this fantastic and assured first novel - the quality and polish of writing in Raw Blue is astonishing, as is the sophistication of structure (see, I mentioned structure!) and verisimilitude of the characters. Even the marginal characters and smallest details in Raw Blue never really leave you - for me, hollandaise sauce will never be quite the same.
It's a brilliant whack-in-the-face of a novel, and I urge you all to go out and buy it if you haven't already.
Oh, and the rumours about the dessert buffet at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards are true. Just in case you were wondering.