Congratulations Paul and Tanya!
Just letting others know, this book is now on the Australian PM's shortlist in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
https://www.theage.com.au/entertainment ... 52qss.html
Story of artistic life on Greek island gets on PM's shortlist
By Jason Steger, Books Editor at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald
September 12, 2019 — 7.07pm
A book that tells of the years Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston spent on the Greek Island of Hydra has been shortlisted in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
Half the Perfect World, by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell, chronicles the lives of the artists, writers and musicians – including Leonard Cohen – on the Aegean island in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
Genoni said Clift and Johnston were great Australian writers. "There had been biographies written about them and they wrote about the island themselves but we felt that there was lot more to be said about that period. It’s a story about when Australia intersected with the rest of the world in unexpected ways."
He said they were the first foreigners to buy a house on the island and many artists followed them: "Leonard Cohen lived there as well, before he was famous, and that was another attractive part of the story." Other Australians who spent time on the island included Sidney Nolan, Mungo MacCallum and Rodney Hall, who lived with the Johnstons for several month in 1964 and whose latest novel is on the shortlist for the PM's fiction prize.
Genoni said writing Half the Perfect World was greatly helped by discovering a cache of 1500 photographs taken on the island by James Burke, a Life magazine photographer who was an old friend of Johnston, and the writing of New Zealand journalist Redmond Wallis, which allowed the authors a first-hand account of life on the island.
Half the Perfect World has been optioned for film by Cascade Films. The script is being written by Andrew Knight and it will be directed Nadia Tass, who was "confident it would go ahead", according to Genoni.
Half the Perfect World was shortlisted in the PM's non-fiction category, along with Certain Light: A Memoir of Family, Loss and Hope, Cynthia Banham; Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up, Gabrielle Chan; The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire, Chloe Hooper; and Axiomatic, Maria Tumarkin.