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Gorrie wins 2022 Victorian Prize for Literature

Veronica Gorrie has won Australia’s richest literary prize, the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, for her debut memoir Black and Blue: A memoir of racism and resilience (Scribe), at the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards (VPLAs).

Gorrie also won the Indigenous writing prize and was shortlisted in the nonfiction category for Black and Blue, which the judges said is ‘a powerful story of an Aboriginal woman who is trying to change the world, her world and her community’s world, and her journey through surviving institutional power and racism’.

‘Gorrie’s humour, warmth and loving ways of detailing her story are unmistakably Black. Reading her book is like having an intimate yarn with her, so adept is her work of bringing us into her story to really feel the words she has gifted to us. Gorrie’s distinctly Indigenous storytelling makes us feel like we are sitting with her by the fire in the backyard listening to the resounding immediacy of her words. Her warmth and love and care for her readers is felt throughout the book.

‘Her book is especially crucial at this moment in time. It challenges us to think about power and society, and the possibility of changing the world we live in. Her personal journey, from thinking she can change Aboriginal worlds through joining the police force through to being an abolitionist, is an urgent story to be told and one that must be heard.’

The winners in each category are:

Victorian Prize for Literature ($100,000)

  • Black and Blue: A memoir of racism and resilience (Veronica Gorrie, Scribe)

Fiction ($25,000)

Nonfiction ($25,000)

Indigenous writing ($25,000)

  • Black and Blue: A memoir of racism and resilience (Veronica Gorrie, Scribe)

Writing for young adults ($25,000)

Drama ($25,000)

  • Milk (Dylan Van Den Berg, Currency Press)

Poetry ($25,000)

  • Trigger Warning (Maria Takolander, UQP)

Unpublished manuscript ($15,000)

  • ‘Fauna of Mirrors’ by Keshe Chow

People’s choice ($2000)

The winners, chosen from shortlists announced in December 2021, were announced at a live-streamed awards ceremony in Melbourne on 3 February.

Laura Jean McKay won last year’s Victorian Prize for Literature for her debut novel The Animals in that Country (Scribe). For more information about the awards, visit the Wheeler Centre website.

Pictured: Veronica Gorrie. Credit: T J Garvie.


Category: Awards Local news