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Michael Sala’s The last thread is 2013’s Pacific Region Winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize

May 16, 2013
Michael Sala The last thread bookcover

The last thread (Courtesy: Affirm Press)

I don’t know about you but I find blogging a challenge when I’m travelling, as I have been for much of May. I love my iPad for staying in touch, but I don’t find it easy to write blog posts on it – either via the WordPress app or the browser. And, our old PC laptop that we share for travelling just isn’t the same as my MacBook Pro. Consequently, I decided to delay posting on Michael Sala’s win, announced yesterday, until I got back today.

It’s an exciting win – of course, what win isn’t! – and means that Sala is now in the running for the overall Commonwealth Book Prize which will be announced on 31 May. I am particularly thrilled because it was published by a small, not yet well-known publisher, Affirm Press, which has published some lovely books over the last couple of years.

I reviewed Sala’s novel last year. It’s autobiographical, and has clearly been a challenge for him and his family*. I closed my review with:

In the very last pages of the book, Michael’s mother says that “words and stories can be dangerous” (echoing Francesca Rendle-Short’s “to think, to write, is dangerous”). They can indeed, but sometimes that danger can have positive outcomes. I hope that, for Sala, the dangers of putting his story, his truths, on the page will be restorative. There’s no guarantee though that such bravery will have its just rewards … in life or in fiction.

It’s exciting for Sala that his bravery has brought him recognition. He has also been shortlisted for the UTS Glenda Adams New Writing Award in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Prize. I wish him well in both awards – and congratulate him and Affirm Press on their achievements to date.

* As comments from his family on my original post show.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2013 11:53 pm

    I’m currently in North Dakota with iPad only. I’ve read 3 books, blogged nothing – I just want to be home behind my trusty Mac desktop for that, WordPress app or no. I do watch the Commonweal Prize, I’ve got some good reads from that bunch.

    • May 17, 2013 8:17 am

      Oh thanks Becky … Glad I’m not the only technologically challenged traveller. I agree that the Commonwealth Book Prize is a great one to watch.

  2. May 17, 2013 2:00 am

    Oh traveling! Hope you are in fun and interesting places that you will tell us all about when you return home. Good news for Sala. And might I just add that I really like the book’s cover design.

    • May 17, 2013 8:19 am

      Thanks Stefanie … I just might write a second literary road post!

      And I agree the cover is gorgeous. In fact I love the look and feel of the whole book, as I have all the Affirm Press books. They make you want to stick with print!


  1. 2013 NSW Premier’s Literary Award winners | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

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