BLACK SWAN SUMMER WINS LITERARY AWARD
Black Swan Summer has won the Australian Cricket Society’s Literary Award, the Jack Pollard Trophy, as the best Australian Cricket Book of the Year for 2023.
Author Max Bonnell commented, "We’re very grateful to the Australian Cricket Society for its recognition of Black Swan Summer. In many ways, it’s an unorthodox cricket book, and we appreciate the fact that the judges took the care to understand what we were seeking to do.
"We hope we did justice to an extraordinary story and the remarkable group of men who played such brilliant cricket in that strange, long-ago summer."
Black Swan Summer tells the extraordinary story of Western Australia's first season of Sheffield Shield cricket, when an unheralded group of unknown, unfashionable and inexperienced players won Australian cricket's biggest prize at their first attempt. But it's more than just a story of an upset result in a cricket competition.
It's a chronicle of the summer in which Don Bradman scored his 100th century, India toured Australia for the first time and the country plunged into political turmoil - which not everyone noticed, because they were at the cricket.
The book explains the connections between men who returned from war to play cricket, the fear of communism, Mahatma Gandhi, rationing, Keith Miller, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Ray Lindwall's back foot and a boxer called the Alabama Kid. Drawing on the personal reminiscences of the last three surviving cricketers from the 1947/48 season, it brings that hot, wet summer vividly to life.
In order to encourage cricket writing in Australia, in 1984 Jack Pollard donated a trophy to be awarded by the Australian Cricket Society to the author of the best Australian cricket book published over the previous 12 months.
A panel headed by renowned cricket book dealer and ACS life member Roger Page judges the winner.