Kibble and Dobbie Awards 2015 winners announced
The winners of the 2015 Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards have been announced at a ceremony at the State Library of New South Wales.
The $30,000 Nita B Kibble Literary Award, which recognises the work of an established Australian woman writer, was presented to Joan London for The Golden Age (Vintage). The Golden Age was chosen from a shortlist of three that included Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy (Sophie Cunningham, Text) and This House of Grief (Helen Garner, Text).
The $5000 Dobbie Award for a first published work by an Australian woman writer went to Ellen van Neerven for Heat and Light (UQP). Also shortlisted were The Strays (Emily Bitto, Affirm Press) and After Darkness (Christine Piper, A&U).
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Humanities Australia editor Elizabeth Webby praised London’s novel—about a children’s polio convalescent home in Perth in the 1950s—for its ‘flawless, clear-eyed prose’. ‘In spite of the grimness of its subject matter, this is a novel luminescent with joy, sensuality and wisdom,’ said Webby.
Speaking about Heat and Light, Webby said van Neerven combined ‘down to earth dialogue, descriptions of country and the dailiness of people’s lives with passages of lyrical intensity’ to ‘effortlessly convey both the mystical dimension of country as well as its undertones of violence’.
The Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards were established by Nita Dobbie to honour her aunt Nita Kibble, the first female librarian at the State Library of New South Wales. The awards are open to women writers with published works of fiction or nonfiction classified as ‘life writing’.
In 2014, the Kibble Literary Award was presented to Kristina Olsson for Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir (UQP) and the Dobbie Literary Award to Kate Richards for Madness: A Memoir (Penguin).
For more information about the awards, click here.
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