I don’t make a practice of reporting on awards – many of the big ones get pretty good media coverage anyhow – but every now and then something catches my fancy … and so here I am today …
Most Underrated Book Award
Apologies to those of you waiting on the edge of your seats to hear the winner of the MUBA, or Most Underrated Book Award, that I heralded a few weeks ago. It was announced on November 8th, the day after I returned from eight days away, and I simply missed it.
The winner is (was!) Wayne Macauley’s The cook.
Congratulations to Wayne Macauley and the three runners-up, Peter Barry, Irma Gold, and Jess Huon. Please check the SPUNC page which lists the books and how you can purchase each one in both print and electronic format. As SPUNC says, they would all make worthy additions to your Christmas shopping list.
Patrick White Award 2012
Patrick White (if we exclude JM Coetzee who received his award when still a South African resident) is Australia’s only Nobel Laureate for Literature. He won that award in 1973, and in 1975 he used the proceeds to establish the Patrick White Award. His goal was to advance ‘Australian literature by encouraging the writing of novels, short stories, poetry and/or plays for publication or performance’. It tends to be given to writers who have made a significant contribution to Australian literature but whom the judges feel deserve further recognition. Recent winners include poet Robert Adamson (2011); multiple award-winning novelist, David Foster (2010); novelist and short story writer Beverley Farmer (2009), a favourite of mine but I haven’t read her for a while; and poet and translator Geoff Page (2001), whom I have reviewed here.
This year’s winner is Amanda Lohrey. I have read her but not since I started this blog. The judges praised the quality of her fiction – the most recent being her novel Reading Madame Bovary – for the moral and ethical dilemmas she explores and for her prose style which ‘has developed a distinctive grace and lucidity in expressing these complex issues’. The judges also commended her role in developing the creative writing program at the University of Technology Sydney, and her work as an essayist.
Thanks to the AustLit blog for information on the Patrick White Award.