Bruny is shortlisted for Fiction Book of the Year in the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards. It’s in excellent company. A shortlist will be announced on April 28th. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 13 May in a virtual event. More details to come here.
Bruny – Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
Silver – Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
During this long period of isolation I am keenly aware of what it will take to be a parent to young children. For many years, I’ve been going into schools and reading the Tuesday McGillycuddy series to primary school children. I also dress up as one of the main characters – Serendipity Smith.
So, to make a small contribution at this time, I’m going to read a chapter of Finding Serendipity at 4pm Australian Eastern Standard time on Facebook beginning Monday April 6th.
If readers want more, I’ll keep going. (In Australia there’s a long winter ahead.)
The series has been published in Australia, the USA and Germany. It has twice been shortlisted for Best Children’s Fantasy Novel in the Aurealis Awards. The books are fantasy but they’re also about creativity and family, love and courage. We also wrote them to encourage and support young writers.
If you have younger readers aged 8 – 12, I’d love them to join me. I’ll also suggest some creative exercises they can do beyond the reading to keep them entertained a little longer.
There may even be dressing up.
If you’re in a different time zone, I’ll be posting the readings to YouTube here. Subscribe if you enjoy.
Delighted to have Bruny make the Indie Book Awards shortlist for Best Fiction Book of the Year – in amazing company with my fellow authors Charlotte Wood, Favel Parrett and Christian White. Here’s what the Indies website has to say about this year’s shortlists across all categories:
Australian independent booksellers, members of Leading Edge Books, are thrilled to announce their SHORTLIST for the Indie Book Awards 2020 for the best Australian books published in 2019!
The Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner will be announced at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner to be held on Monday 23 March 2020 in Brisbane, QLD.
Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate this country’s incredible talent and the role independent booksellers play in supporting and nurturing Australian writing.
Who will win in each category in 2020?
Who will take out the overall ‘Book of the Year’ Award?!
Without further ado…
Without further ado…
The Shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2020:
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)
Bruny by Heather Rose (Allen and Unwin)
The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (Affirm Press)
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen and Unwin)
Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch (Allen and Unwin)
488 Rules for Life: The Thankless Art of Being Correct by Kitty Flanagan (Allen and Unwin)
Tell Me Why by Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster Australia)
Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing)
Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden (Macmillan Australia)
Allegra in Three Parts by Suzanne Daniel (Macmillan Australia)
The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean (Fourth Estate Australia)
Heart of the Grass Tree by Molly Murn (Vintage Australia)
The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes (Affirm Press)
Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor (Hardie Grant Books)
The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland (Hardie Grant Books)
In an Australian Light edited by Jo Turner (Thames & Hudson Australia)
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly (Lothian Children’s Books)
Into the Wild: Wolf Girl, Book 1 by Anh Do, illustrated by Jeremy Ley (Allen and Unwin Children’s)
The Tiny Star by Mem Fox & Freya Blackwood (Puffin Australia)
Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books)
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim (Allen and Unwin Children’s)
Aurora Rising: The Aurora Cycle 1 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen and Unwin Children’s)
It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing)
Monuments by Will Kostakis (Lothian Children’s Books)
This is how it works. The twenty-four shortlisted books, the best titles of the year as nominated by Australian independent booksellers themselves, will be vying for the top spot as the Overall Indie ‘Book of the Year’. Panels of expert judges (all indie booksellers and avid readers) will choose the winners in the six book categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction, Children’s books (up to 12yo) and Young Adult (12+). Independent booksellers from around the country will then vote to select their favourite book of the year from the six category winners.
Since the Awards inception in 2008, the Indies have a well-deserved reputation for picking the best of the best in Australian writing. Past Book of the Year winners have gone on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Previous winners include: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton; Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, The Dry by Jane Harper; The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood; The Bush by Don Watson; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; All That I Am by Anna Funder; The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do; Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey; and Breath by Tim Winton.
The Awards recognise and celebrate the indie booksellers as the number one supporters of Australian authors. What makes our Indies uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Aussie books of the past year to their customers and readers, is their incredible passion and knowledge, their contribution to the cultural diversity of the Australian reading public by recommending books beyond the big brands, and their love of quality writing.
The Indie Book Awards would like to gratefully acknowledge the 2020 Awards Sponsors: Simon & Schuster Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia, Affirm Press, Thames & Hudson Australia, Allen & Unwin, Text Publishing and Awards partner: Books+Publishing.
Review by Rohan Wilson in The Australian‘s Review magazine Saturday November 9, 2019.
Chafing satire and explosive views
By ROHAN WILSON
the most part, Australian literature in the 21st century is fairly toothless.
a good day, our writers can muster up some anger at the appalling treatment of
our First Nations people or for the equally appalling treatment the LGBTI
outside of these worthy causes it seems as if our writers enjoy a middle-class
contentment that turns their gaze inward to domestic life, rather than outward
to civic life.
the world is going through an economic revolution. The billionaire class and
their neoliberal political attack dogs have convinced us that competition is
the defining characteristic of human relations.
inequality is causing epidemics of depression, suicide and obesity. Property
ownership has become an impossible dream for whole swaths of the community. A
handful of powerful corporations are busy destroying our climate. Are our best
writers asleep to what’s going on around them? Or worse, are they happy with
the status quo?
Heather Rose is perhaps the last writer I would have expected to come out swinging. Her previous novel, The Museum of Modern Love, won a swag of awards for its depiction of performance artist Marina Abramovic and her piece, The Artist is Present. It was a quiet, contemplative novel about the way art can bring people together and give us hope.
we have Bruny, which is more like a hand grenade than a book, with its
excoriating satire and explosive views on our political and economic
trajectory. It’s the best evidence we have yet that Australian writers are
finally waking up to the unfolding crisis.
begins with an explosion on the newly built Bruny Island bridge in the south of
Tasmania. The bridge is meant to connect Bruny to the mainland, making life
easier for the locals and boosting tourism.
explosion has the hallmarks of a terrorist plot and it quickly becomes a
central issue in the looming state election. Enter Astrid Coleman. Astrid is
called in by her brother, JC, the premier of Tasmania and Liberal Party
strongman. He wants a speedy resolution and thinks Astrid, who is an expert in
conflict resolution based in New York, can bring together the various factions
fighting over Tasmania’s future. But as Astrid starts to dig, she soon learns
that JC’s motives are more nefarious than she first assumed.
takes an episodic approach to her story, with Astrid in the field gathering
information from bridge workers, restaurant owners, greenies, and anyone who
might have reason to blow up the bridge.
picture of contemporary Tasmania begins to emerge. We see how the politics of
austerity have impoverished the community, we see how privatisation has given
more and more power to unaccountable private tyrannies, and see, perhaps most
frightening of all, that China has moved in to take advantage of Tasmania’s
clean, green potential.
is not without her own problems, too. We learn that her parents’ marriage
wasn’t as happy as it seemed and that it has left her with some anxieties to
work through. Her own marriage fell apart after her husband revealed himself as
she is world weary and somewhat cynical about her brother’s agenda, she
maintains an optimistic outlook and a deep love for the island of her
childhood. But her optimism is seriously challenged by the conspiracy she
uncovers as the facts behind the destruction of the Bruny Island bridge come to
is where the satire in the novel really starts to bite. The Chinese Communist
Party views Tasmania as yet another Third World location where it might win
some influence through investment in infrastructure. It insists that Chinese
workers be shipped in to complete the repairs to the bridge and the Liberal
government enthusiastically agrees.
starts to think that the bomb plot may have been staged in order to win support
for a change in local employment laws to allow foreign workers to be shipped in
wholesale. In fact, the truth is much, much worse.
I read on and the scale of the conspiracy became clear, I had to put the book
aside because I was laughing so hard.
is audacious writing. It exposes the lies at the heart of neoliberal economics
more clearly than any book in recent memory, and it does so with a vicious
sense of irony.
there’s something here for everyone. Whether it’s Astrid’s rule-breaking
romantic interest in Dan, the manager of the bridge workers, or the family
drama between Astrid and JC, or the political commentary and piss-taking, there
are moments on every page that keep narrative tension bubbling away.
I certainly expect to see this book feature in major prize shortlists over the next 12 months. It’s the wake-up call we needed.
Heather Rose. Allen & Unwin, 424pp, $32.99
Rohan Wilson‘s most recent novel is Daughter of Bad Times.
From Heather: Rohan’s wonderful novel The Daughter of Bad Times shares many of the same concerns as Bruny – but is set in 2074 … do go seek it out!
You are a UN
conflict resolution expert based in New York. Your brother is the Tasmanian premier.
Your sister is the Tasmanian opposition leader. Your mother has cancer and your
father is sliding into dementia and speaks only in Shakespearean quotes.
Someone blows up
part of an almost-completed $2bn bridge joining Tasmania to its offshoot Bruny Island.
You, dispatched to the scene, spot a bloke who looks as if he’d know how to
handle explosives, but on the plus side he resembles Chris Hemsworth.
Welcome to the
weird, wonderful, sad, nervous, bold and hilarious interconnected world of
56-year-old Astrid Coleman, the lead character in Heather Rose’s new novel
Bruny, named after the 362sq km island at its centre, permanent population
“The whole book was
the most amazing amount of fun I’ve ever had writing in my life,” the author
says. “I laughed and laughed.”
Rose’s family has
lived in Tasmania for six generations and Bruny Island, accessible only by
boat, has been important to her throughout her life. It was a place of fun and
games for Rose as a kid and it has been a place of peace and quiet for her as a
writer. A lot of that laughing during the writing of the novel, which is part
thriller, part political satire, part romance, was due to Astrid’s formidable
presence in Rose’s life.
Some writers treat
their characters as galley slaves. They tell them when to row, where to go and
when to stop. Others live with their characters, have conversations with them,
are guided by them. Rose is in the latter camp. “Yes, my children think that is
strange,” she admits.
known as Ace because as a child she cheated at cards, even came to her in a
dream and suggested — perhaps demanded is a better word — an important
development in the plot.
“That night she
wiped me out with something so shocking it left me sitting up in bed,” Rose
Rose used to argue
with her characters and sometimes try to say no to them, but she has stopped
doing that now and is more comfortable with the relationship as a result.
“I think that’s the
trick, isn’t it? I’m so grateful that Astrid only came at this point (Bruny is
Rose’s fifth novel for adults). I might have tried to push her around if she’d
come earlier, but this time I just let her have her head, and I was shocked by
her so many times.
“She’s quite an
outrageous character and she says things about life, men, politics, ideology,
everything, really, and I would type it all out, look at it and think, ‘I can’t
say that. That’s terrible. And then I’d think, ‘Oh, well, Astrid said it.’ ”
Here’s a good
example, when Astrid, who has two grown children, is thinking back on her
failed marriage: “Everyone should have to get divorced from the person they’re
married to, just to see who that person really is.”
Bruny is Rose’s
first novel since The Museum of Modern Love, centred on Serbian performance
artist Marina Abramovic, which won the 2016 Stella prize. It is also the first
one she has been able to write full time, thanks to the Stella cheque and an
Australia Council grant. Rose, 55, dabbled in modelling and acting when she was
young but has earned her living as an advertising copywriter, then as
co-founder of an award-winning advertising firm, Coo’ee Tasmania. She has three
“The Museum of
Modern Love took me 11 years. It was a very long process. I wrote four other
novels in the meantime, and it was a tedious novel in so many ways. Sorry.
“There was a
gruesomeness to writing it. It was arduous. It took everything, that novel. And
then, it had all the success, which was such a surprise. Then on the back of
that, the Australia Council, for the first time after 10 applications over 23
years, gave me a grant to work on this novel.
“I had already been
coming up with a few thoughts about it and writing scenes and all of that. But
there was something so brilliant about being able to knuckle down with this
idea that the Australia Council had funded me to write a political satire about
explosive set-up, Bruny unfolds as a power and passion drama about family,
loyalty, home, place, politics, foreign investment and love. It is in part a
love letter to the author’s home state.
Yet Tasmania is a
familiar but estranged place for Astrid, who has lived most of her adult life
in New York. She returns to help her twin brother, John, the Liberal premier,
known in the family as JC, a man who can walk on water, who is set to go to the
polls in four months. He has asked her to bring together the opposing sides in
the bridge debate, the established Tasmanians and the greenies versus the
newcomers, the developers and the Chinese investors, so the bridge can be fixed
and opened before the election.
leader, Maxine, is their older sister. She is the one who has continued the
family tradition as she is the Labor leader. Their father, Angus, was a state
Labor MP for decades. JC switched sides.
“If this book is a
love story, it is a love story for my fellow Tasmanians,” Rose says. “There’s
no way I could do justice to this community without talking about the
spectacular visual beauty we live in every day and how much that colours our
“But I also can’t
help but observe Tasmania and what we’re seeing in terms of visitor numbers and
consider what that means in the next five years, in the next 10 years, in the
next 20 years.
“And when I was
writing the book, I was immersed in current affairs, to everything that was
coming out of the US, the UK and here in Australia. I do think it’s important
we have better conversations about our national security planning, about our
long-term economic planning … and about what on earth are we doing about
protecting ourselves from the climate emergency.
“Clearly we do not
have leadership on any of those fronts. One of the things that I enjoyed doing
was looking into the nature of democracy.”
The novel is set in
the near future, which turns it into a delightful guessing game for readers.
Who is the prime minister? (Hint: I think it’s a comeback.) Who is the king of
England? Who is the American president? Who is the bestselling writer-public
intellectual greenie camped on Bruny Island? (Hint: I don’t think it’s Richard
I’m not going to
spoil the fun for readers, so I’ll leave the possible name out in this example.
When I say to Rose that the federal minister for natural protection Aiden
Abbott, better known as Aid-n-Abet, is obviously … she laughs and nods. A
friend of Rose sitting with us chips in. “You’ve been very naughty,” she tells
the author, who laughs some more.
As well as the name
game, other tantalising questions linger from the outset. Who blew up the
bridge? Why? Is it an act of terrorism? Is the brother-sister political
opposition just a front that allows one family — Coleman Inc — to control the
state? Does China have Australia’s interests at heart or are we just part of
its “chequebook colonialism”?
And is Astrid
working for someone else other than the Premier? Early on she notes “I have to
hide the truth, that’s always been my speciality”, and wonders: ‘‘Would I ever
kill for an ideal?” A reader’s impression of what that ideal may be will shift
as the novel goes on.
quotes from Angus are not just there for fun. This novel has Shakespearean
undertones. Readers will think of Lear, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest and
especially Hamlet, where one can “smile, and smile, and be a villain”. No one
is exactly who they seem to be.
“It’s beautiful as
a writer to be part of a lineage,” Rose says. “I think as a writer it’s very
hard to ignore the influence of great writing, especially what’s been given to
us in the dramatic realm. And of course Shakespeare is so political.”
intrigue at the centre of this novel is the result of a lot of research. Rose
spoke to friends and contacts who worked in, or had connections to, political
parties, security agencies, government authorities and the UN.
particularly nervous about the scenes where the bridge is blown up, worried
that readers in the know would tell her she didn’t understand the nuts and
bolts of it.
So she made contact
with explosives experts, people similar to her fictional former paratrooper now
bridge foreman who looks like Hemsworth.
“They did come back
to me,” she says, “and were willing to advise me, but on one provision. They
said: ‘This is for a work of fiction, right?’ ”
Bruny, by Heather
Rose, is published by Allen & Unwin (424pp, $32.99).
My first book tour is over. Bruny has been launched across Australia. Thank you to all the bookstores that so graciously and delightfully welcomed me and Bruny to author events across the country. It was such a pleasure to meet readers everywhere, brilliant booksellers, and to discover so many beautiful bookstores! Apart from the events below, there were also so many signings at independent bookstores and Dymocks stores in every city. Thank you all!
My thanks to the very dedicated and brilliant publicist from Allen & Unwin – Christine Farmer – who made all this happen … and visited endless shopping centres with me for signings. Also to Ange Stannard and Maria Tsiakopoulos in WA and Victoria who chaperoned me in those states. Also to the awesome Allen & Unwin team who designed all the Bruny collateral that decks windows and bookstores across Australia. So wonderful to have this kind of support for a novel.
Events were held at:
Hobart Sunday Sept 29 3.30pm Fullers Bookshop In Conversation with Literary Editor of the Australian, Stephen Romei
HobartTuesday Oct 1 6pm Official Bruny Launch Hobart RACV Hotel 6pm with Premier Will Hodgman and supported by Dymocks – SOLD OUT
Sydney Wednesday Oct 2nd 6.30pm Better Read than Dead In Conversation with Editor of The Guardian, Lenore Taylor
A lot of unexpected things have happened this year. It’s a beautiful, brilliant year in the face of some great personal hardship. It’s strange the way life does both, but it seems to be the way it is. I am immensely grateful for it all! I am delighted to find my work reaching a wider world of readers, and I am deeply touched by the acknowledgement for so many years of hard work.
Along the way, there have been quite a few interviews, reviews and articles. This article by Jane Sullivan, published in the Age and the SMH, utterly surprised me (and totally delighted my Dad who has patiently waited to see if my books would ever be ‘discovered’ by people further afield.)
The first William Faulkner novel I read was As I Lay Dying. I must have been about 21. From there I read every novel of Faulkner’s, settling at last on Light in August as my favourite – and one of my top five favourite novels of my lifetime. I think it comes as close as any novel to being a perfect novel in form, characterisation, in tone and in the spectacular craft of good writing. So to find my words compared to Faulkner’s made my father cry, and me reflect on the wonder of life.
We never know how our creativity will touch other lives. For me that is a mysterious gift and a privilege that may yet keep me writing all my days.
It’s not easy to let the recognition in. But given everything that has unfolded, I wanted to acknowledge this very special observation by Jane Sullivan.
“What a winning acceptance speech Heather Rose gave for the 2017 Stella Prize. She charmed everyone in the room: she was humble, honest and a little bit steely. To survive as a writer you need steel.
She liked to think of her winning novel, The Museum of Modern Love, as an overnight success. In fact it took 46 years from the moment her father told her a terrible thing when she was six years old.
She’d read him her poem about a rabbit, and he said, “You’re going to be a great writer.” For years she was devastated by the huge gulf that existed between her own writing and that of the great writers.
There was progress. Two failed novels; a first published novel (she remembers only the one unkind review); a second novel that once delivered her a royalty cheque for 57 cents in a 60-cent envelope; a third novel with ardent fans, but very few readers; a series of stories for children, written with Danielle Wood.
The Museum of Modern Love took 11 years to write, was rejected by Australian and US publishers, and finally found a home with Allen & Unwin. Somewhere along the line Rose accepted she would never be a great writer. But she wants nothing more than to continue to write.
This is literary success in Australia. But what about in the world. Something prompted me to compare Rose’s words with the indisputably great writers’ award acceptance orations of the past, so i went to the Nobel Prize website and had a look. You know what? I preferred Rose’s speech. It seemed to resonate more.
The Nobel prizewinners whose speeches I found were all men. They usually began with a dutiful nod to humility, and some of them kept up that note. But others became Godlike. They made stirring calls to the writers of the future (who they assumed were men) and told them what they should be writing about. I began to think that if their dads had ever told them they’d be great writers, they’d just take that as their due.
Of course I found rhetoric and grand pronouncements about literature that are still frequently quoted. Faulkner thought the writer must write about nothing but “the old verities and truths of the heart … love and honour and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice”. Hemingway thought the writer must always try “for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed”. Steinbeck believed that “a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature”.
These writers were speaking on a world stage, at a time when the world seemed a dark place at risk of nuclear annihilation. It’s still dark, though perhaps a different kind of darkness. Rose was speaking on a small stage, to an Australian audience, mostly women, after winning a prize for women. Inevitably it’s a speech about smaller, personal things.
Or is it? “Being a successful woman is not an easy path,” Rose said – especially in Australia, and she cited the case of Julia Gillard. And then she, too, rose to the challenge of defining the task of the writer: “to tell our stories. To reflect the human experience. To find what is common and what is uncommon. To explore the past, be with the present, to imagine the future … And if we do not foster our creativity when we hear it calling – whether in our children or as adults – then the world is poorer for it.”
The Stella Prize was established in 2011 when a group of bold, brave women took the step of acknowledging that Australian women writers were being under-represented in the books reviewed and the prizes that were awarded. For example, in 2011, 70% of books reviewed in the Weekend Australian newspaper were written by men. And the ultimate literary prize in Australia, the Miles Franklin – the legacy prize of one of Australia’s great writers (and a woman) – had only been won by a female author 10 times in the 54 years it had been awarded. So the Stella Prize was born.
It’s hard to express how meaningful it can be to have the books we write acknowledged by a wider circle of people. Publishing is not a world awash with funds to promote books. For literary writers, the most we can usually hope for is a good review in a major newspaper. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the support of enthusiastic distributors and bookshop staff can promote a book, or a lucky invitation to a writer’s festival. Sometimes there are rare moments that see our works transformed into films or plays or video games. Almost as rare is the sale of our work into foreign countries. Invitations to festivals are not easy to come by. I have attended one major festival. It was with my first novel – White Heart – at Sydney Writer’s Festival. That was in 1999. Festival budgets do not stretch to flights and accommodation for largely unknown authors from far flung regions of Australia. And there’s the catch. Without publicity we cannot achieve sales. Without sales we cannot forward our careers.
British publishers do not generally pick up novels already printed in Australia. US publishers are just as tough. And even when we are picked up, there are rarely any royalties that flow beyond the initial (and sometimes quite modest) advance. The average advance in Australia for a novel is $5000.
Prize money is a gift of time. Prize money is so rare! Any money for writing is rare! And every prize has different eligibility criteria. Because The Museum of Modern love is set in New York, with no reference to Australia at all, it is ineligible for the Miles Franklin which is only for books that ‘present Australian life in any of its phases.’
Writing is hard work. It requires enormous focus and stillness. It requires creating an almost meditative space where we can convey the story that is urgently trying to flow through us. That urgency can obliterate all other thoughts. It is devastated by interruption. It is dissuaded by a failure in the writer to just sit down and do the work.
Writing takes time. Because it is very rare for Australian writers to earn any substantial income from their work (currently the average income for Australian writers is $13,000 pa) we must then do our work around other work. Writing a novels usually takes years. That’s years where writers have to choose writing before the other demands of life. In my experience what gives is socialising, movie-going, tv watching, gardening, cooking, renovating, reading, sleep and any other number of ways we humans spend our time.
So it’s something of a miracle when, after many years of work, a book with it’s own special life beyond the clandestine world of the author’s mind and the author’s computer, finds its way onto a major prize shortlist. And the Stella shortlist is a huge boon. It will have a significant impact on the number of readers who discover a book. It gives the book a profile that opens up the possibility of sales into other countries and other mediums. For a little while we ride on a bubble of acknowledgement. And it’s precarious. Like a flower in bloom. We know there are other days ahead, other cycles to come. So it’s important to celebrate.
I think for most of us writers, it’s always a surprise to receive widespread acknowledgment for our creative efforts. This fragile idea that came to visit, that was gathered up and written down and worried over for months and years and became a novel or a work of non-fiction or a prose or poetry collection, is the result of a kind of fight against all the odds. If the book gets published that is the first miracle. If it attracts a shortlisting for a major prize that is another miracle. There are so many good writers and good books.
So thank you Stella judges for whittling down your longlist to aStella shortlist 2017 that includes The Museum of Modern Love. I am enormously and profoundly grateful.
‘The Museum of Modern Love’ has been included on this extraordinary longlist of Australian literature. Thank you Association for the Study of Australian Literature! The Medal has a distinguished history and previous winners include Michelle de Krester, Gillian Mears, David Malouf and Christos Tsiolkas.
The ALS Gold Medal is presented annually by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) for a ‘work of outstanding literary merit’ published in the previous calendar year. Last year’s winner was Brenda Niall’s Mannix (Text).
2017 Long list announced for the ALS Gold Medal
Adam Aitken One Hundred Letters Home (Vagabond)
Steven Amsterdam The Easy Way Out (Hachette)
Georgia Blain Between a Wolf and a Dog (Scribe)
Peter Boyle, Ghostspeaking (Vagabond)
Michelle Cahill Letters to Pessoa (Giramondo)
Tina Giannoukous Bull Days (Arcadia)
Dennis Haskell Ahead of Us (Fremantle)
Fiona McFarlane The High Places (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton)
Zoe Morrison Music and Freedom (Vintage)
Sean Rabin Wood Green (Giramondo)
Heather Rose The Museum of Modern Love (Allen & Unwin)
The ALS Gold Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year. The Medal was inaugurated by the Australian literary Society, which was founded in Melbourne in 1899 and incorporated into the Association for the Study of Australian Literature(ASAL) in 1982.
The medal was originally awarded for the best novel published in the previous year but, since 1937, other literary forms have been eligible for consideration. The medal has sometimes been called the Crouch Gold Medal after its principal benefactor, Colonel R.A. Crouch
No nominations are required, though ASAL members are invited to propose potential winners to the judging panel.
Ways to connect with Heather
For all Australian media and event enquiries please contact Christine Farmer at Allen & Unwin, Australia – ChristineF (@) allenandunwin.com. For other enquiries please contact Heather’s agent, Gaby Naher at Left Bank Literary. Follow Heather on Instagram or visit her You Tube below