Victorian writer Jock Serong won the $ 50,000 ARA Historical Novel Prize in the adult category for The Burning Island (Text), while Katrina Nannestad won the $ 30,000 for children and young adults (CYA) category for We are wolves (ABC Books).
Selected from over 130 applications and a list of three finalists announced in September, The Burning Island follows a daughter’s devotion to her father and she accompanies her aging father on a journey through the islands of Bass Strait. Serong’s other shortlisted authors, Anita Heiss for Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray, River of Dreams (S&S) and Gail Jones for Our shadows (Text), receive $ 5,000 each.
Adult Category Jury President Nicole Alexander described The Burning Island as a “richly imagined epic” where “Serong’s nuanced exploration of the relationships between European men and their Tyereelore wives reflects a depth of research that effortlessly sits in a beautifully executed narrative.”
âI am very grateful to the [Historical Novel Society Australasia], the jury and the award sponsor the ARA group for this wonderful recognition, âsaid Serong. “The past few years have been a deep dive for me into the inspiring and diverse historical writing of this country, and to have a place among these writers I admire so much is the best thing I could wish for in my career.”
Nannestad is the first winner of the CYA category, which was created this year. We are wolves is a mid-level story about a Prussian family who were forced to flee their home in 1945. Amelia Mellor and Pamela Rushby also each receive $ 5,000 for their shortlisted novels, The largest bookstore in the world (Affirm) and The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle (Walker Books) respectively.
ACY Category Jury President Paul Macdonald said We are wolves ‘is simple, poetic and deeply moving’. “This exceptional novel demonstrates great writing, extensive research and a great appeal to young and old readers.”
The Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA), in partnership with ARA Group, announced the winners at a virtual conference on October 22.
Mirandi Riwoe won the inaugural $ 50,000 prize last year for her novel Stone Sky Gold Mountain (UQP).
For more information, see the NHSA website.
Category: Junior rewards Local news