Newcastle writer Ewa Ramsey has made the finalist longlist for the Australian Book Industry Awards for her debut novel, The Morbids.
Ramsey's book, published by Allen and Unwin, is a finalist for General Fiction Book of the Year.
Ramsey is also on the long list for the New Writer of the Year.
"I'm quite surprised," Ramsey said. "I am a bit shocked by this one, a bit overwhelmed."
The title, The Morbids, comes from a nickname for a death-related anxiety therapy group. In the book, the lead character, Caitlin, attends the therapy group with others who suffer the same anxieties about death - albeit for other reasons - trying to find their way back to a life where they can cope more easily.
Considering the subject matter, the book is upbeat, full of personalities and movement, chatter among friends and workmates, all the while Caitlin is slowly working to resolve the fears that have controlled her life.
The other finalists in that category are The Bluffs, by Kyle Perry, The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams, The Godmothers, by Monica McInerney, The Good Turn, by Dervla McTiernan, The Mother Fault, by Kate Mildenhall, The Survivors, by Jane Harper, and Trust, by Chris Hammer.
"I'm in good company, there are some stunning books on that longlist," Ramsey said.
Ramsey is also on the long list for the New Writer of the Year. Others on the list are Jessie Tu, Andrew Pippos, Marlee Silva, Nardi Simpson, Vivian Pham, Amelia Mellor and Eddie Jaku.
The shortlist for the ABIA will be announced on April 12 and the winners on April 28.
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