Breath, a novel about surfing, was described by the judges as :
... a searing document about masculinity, about risk, and about young people's desire to push the limits.(You can also hear Winton reading extracts from the novel.)
He delivered his acceptance speech via video link and launched a passionate defence of Australian writers and literary culture which is likely to be under threat if proposed changes to copyright are made law. (For more on the issue of parallel importation, see this piece by Peter Carey.)
Winton beat off some very strong competition :
Murray Bail - The Pagesall of which you can find out more about in Jasons Stegers's neatly named Five Males and a Miles in The Age.
Richard Flanagan - Waiting
Louis Nowra - Ice
Christos Tsiolkas - The Slap