At a Prize ceremony at the NSW State Library today (30 Mar) - Ann Blainey was awarded the 2009 National Biography Prize. In the words of the judges -
"Ann Blainey has had to peel away layers of the cult of celebrity to rediscover a woman of contrasts," the judges said in their citation.
"Melba had a robust professional ego but was often fragile."
"It is alive to the mixed blessings of fame, glamour and image," the judges said in their citation at a ceremony in Sydney on Monday.
"It understands the human ego. It explores the history of singing and especially the pivotal years at the end of the nineteenth century when fashions in entertainment were changing and when Melba first made her mark."
The prize, Australia's richest award, was made possible by Dr Geoffrey Cains & Michael Crouch , and is to encourage the highest standards in biographical writing.