Simpson wins 2021 ALS Gold Medal for ‘Song of the Crocodile’
Nardi Simpson has won the 2021 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal for Song of the Crocodile (Hachette).
Song of the Crocodile is Simpson’s debut novel, and was the winner of the 2018 black&write! Writing Fellowship. An intergenerational family saga, the novel charts the experiences of Billymil family as their rural town undergoes social and environmental change over the years.
Simpson, a Yuwaalaraay woman from New South Wales, is a musician, composer and playwright, and a founding member of the folk duo Stiff Gins. Song of the Crocodile has been a finalist for several awards in 2021 including the Stella Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Colin Roderick Award.
The 2021 ALS Gold Medal shortlist also included works of fiction and poetry by Robbie Arnott, Luke Best, Laura Jean McKay, Ronnie Scott and Ellen van Neerven. The winner was announced online at Australia’s Triennial Literary Studies Convention, where Behrouz Boochani delivered the subsequent Barry Andrews Memorial Address.
Established in 1929, the ALS Gold Medal is an annual award given to an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year. The winner receives a gold medal.
The winner of last year’s ALS Gold Medal was Charmaine Papertalk Green for her poetry collection Nganajungu Yagu (Cordite).