2021 Age Book of the Year winner

The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott has been announced as winner of the Age Book of the Year 2021. The Age Book of the Year is awarded in partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival and recognises outstanding works of local fiction and winner Robbie Arnott will receive a prize of $10,000 thanks the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.


The Rain Heron tells the story of Ren, who lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading-and forgetting.

But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her impossible mission. As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt-as myths merge with reality-both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.

Our staff reviewer Marie Matteson notes, ‘this is a novel that beautifully captures people at war with themselves, with each other, with nature – and it’s a taut, tense thriller at the same time. It is timely in the way mythological quests always are.’ You can read Marie’s full review here.

You can also listen to a conversation with Robbie Arnott on our Readings podcast here.


You can browse other award-winning books here.

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The Rain Heron

The Rain Heron

Robbie Arnott

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