Castro wins 2014 Patrick White Literary Award
Author and playwright Brian Castro is the 2014 recipient of the Patrick White Literary Award.
Castro was presented with the $24,000 award on 7 November. The annual award was established by Patrick White using the proceeds of his 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature and is traditionally awarded to authors who ‘have made a significant but inadequately recognised contribution to Australian literature’. The award does not involve a submission process, with writers being ‘automatically eligible’.
Castro is the author of 10 novels as well as radio plays, stage plays, short stories and a collection of essays on writing and culture. His books include Shanghai Dancing (2003), The Garden Book (2005), The Bath Fugues (2009) and Street to Street (2012) (all Giramondo). His 2007 essay ‘Twice Born’ paid homage to Patrick White. His work is often likened to the Nobel Prize winner.
This year’s award was judged by David Carter, Debra Adelaide and Bernadette Brennan. The judges commented on Castro’s ‘continued willingness to take imaginative risks and be “blackly playful”, and his evident potential to produce more significant work’.
Castro said in a statement: ‘As others have noted, this is an award by a writer for other writers. I cannot think of another Nobel winner who left this kind of legacy. It is not a prize for which you can apply, as it acknowledges a body of work rather than a single publication. It takes in the larger view, and is not about longlists, shortlists, betting-lists and gossip-lists. I am proud to be amongst such great company as past winners Christina Stead, Randolph Stow and Thea Astley.’
More than $780,000 has been given to Australian writers since the Patrick White Literary Award was first presented in 1974. Recent winners include David Foster (2010), Robert Adamson (2011), Amanda Lohrey (2012) and Louis Nowra (2013).
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