O’Grady wins Vogel for ‘The Yellow House’
Brisbane writer Emily O’Grady has won the 2018 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award for The Yellow House (A&U), a story about ‘the legacies of violence and the possibilities of redemption’, set in semi-rural Queensland.
The Yellow House is about 10-year-old Cub, who lives with her parents and siblings on a ‘lonely property bordering an abandoned cattle farm and knackery’. The novel follows the family’s lives as they’ve become ostracised by the local community due to the notorious actions of Cub’s granddad Les, who died 12 years earlier.
Bookseller and award judge Megan O’Brien said, ‘The Yellow House is a visually delightful and compelling narrative with a terrific balance of tension, horror and beauty. Quintessentially Australian.’
O’Grady receives $20,000 for the prize, which is one of Australia’s richest prizes for an unpublished manuscript (awarded to a writer under the age of 35). Introducing her book at the awards ceremony on 23 April, O’Grady described it as ‘a story about people who live on the outskirts, geographically and also socially’, and about ‘characters whose stories are rarely considered, and who are grappling with the aftermath of incomprehensible violence, characters who are rarely empathised with’.
The winner was chosen from a shortlist of two, which also included Melbourne writer Samantha-Ellen Bound. The judging panel comprised the Australian’s literary editor Stephen Romei, author Tegan Bennett Daylight and bookseller Megan O’Brien. Allen & Unwin published The Yellow House on 24 April.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, last year’s winner was Marija Peričić for The Lost Pages (A&U).