Popular comedian-turned-author Anh Do cleaned up at last night’s Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) presentation winning Book of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Biography of the Year. In the latter category Anh Do shared first place with musician Paul Kelly.
In his popular memoir, The Happiest Refugee, Anh Do describes his family’s flight from Vietnam to Australia in a boat, their struggle to establish themselves in Australia and his career as a stand up comedian.
It is both ironic and inspirational that Anh Do had learning difficulties as a child and was in the remedial learning class at school, thinking he wasn’t smart. You can listen to his story in this ABC 702 radio interview with Adam Spencer.
The Happiest Refugee can be found on the Library’s shelves at 920 DO (or it will be eventually. Currently heavily reserved you will need to place your own reserve to read it. Ask a staff member to help if you don’t know how). It is also a NSW Premier’s Reading Challengetitle, in the 7-9 list.
Here are the 2011 ABIA winners :
Book of the Year – The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
Newcomer of the Year – The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
Illustrated Book of the Year – Our Family Table by Julie goodwin
Literary Fiction Book of the Year – Bereft by Chris Womersley
Book of the Year for Younger Children – Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
Book of the Year for Older Children – Conspiracy 365 by Gabrielle Lord
General Non-fiction Book of the Year – True Spirit by Jessica Watson
General Fiction Book of the Year – The Distant Hours by Kate Morton