Fiona McFarlane’s terrific first novel The NIght Guest has shared first prize with Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts in the Barbara Jefferis Award for a novel that “depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls”.
Perhaps the focus on empowerment of women dictates the slant of this report – there is a relationship between elderly people in the book but The Night Guests is not just “a novel about sexual desire among the elderly”. It’s much deeper and stranger than that. For a more illuminating insight into the winners, the others on the shortlist, and the whole judging process, head over to Dorothy’s own account:
And the judges’ report is here:
Overseas readers interested in reading some good Aussie fiction may be interested in the shortlist:
- Sufficient Grace (Amy Espeseth, Scribe)
- The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (Tracy Farr, Fremantle Press)
- Pilgrimage (Jacinta Halloran, Scribe)
- Sea Hearts (Margo Lanagan, A&U)
- The Night Guest (Fiona McFarlane, Penguin)
- The First Week (Margaret Merrilees, Wakefield Press)
- The Mountain (Drusilla Modjeska, Vintage).