An historical account of double-entry bookkeeping and a novel exploring human-animal relationships have won two PhD students from the School of the Arts and Media places on the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist.

Jane Gleeson-White’s Double Entry: How the merchants of Venice shaped the modern world - and how their invention could make or break the planet, shortlisted in the non-fiction category, looks at how the simple accounting practice of double-entry bookkeeping underpins not just the global economy, but our entire way of thinking.

The author takes readers on a “fascinating journey that begins with a Renaissance mathematician-monk and ends with the high financiers of Wall Street”, weaving historical research through a narrative to explain complex concepts.  

Double-Entry won the 2012 Nib Waverley Library Award for Literature and was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year Awards and the Queensland Literary Awards in 2012.

Praised as a “moving and lyrical work”, Animal People was also shortlisted for last year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor James Donald, said it was a wonderful achievement for the School to have two PhD students nominated for such a prestigious award.

“To have one of our Creative Writing PhD students shortlisted would be a significant achievement. To have two nominated is not only proper recognition for a pair of exceptionally talented authors, it is also a tribute to the strength and depth of our Creative Writing programs.”

The winners of this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards will be announced on May 19 as part of the Sydney Writers' Festival, of which the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is a major sponsor.

The full list of shortlisted authors is available on the website.

Media Contact: Fran Strachan, 02 9385 8732