Lucy Treloar wins the Barbara Jefferis Award 2020

Congratulations to Lucy Treloar who has been named this year’s winner of the Barbara Jefferis Award for her immersive work of climate fiction, Wolfe Island.

Kitty Hawke is the last inhabitant of a dying island sinking into the wind-lashed Chesapeake Bay. She has resigned herself to annihilation until the night her pregnant granddaughter rows ashore, begging for sanctuary. Blood cannot be turned away in times like these and when trouble comes following, no one is more surprised than Kitty to find she will protect them as fiercely as her name suggests…

The judging panel commented: ‘Set on a sinking island, in a country riven by racial violence and social inequity, this brilliant novel demonstrates that catastrophes bring out the best and worst in people, and that lawless acts are sometimes necessary in order to save ourselves. Cat’s passing reference to The Grapes of Wrath at one point is apt, for the parables contained in Kitty Hawke’s meetings during her epic journey north to the border, were reminiscent of any everyman’s journey undertaken in classic works of literature. Kitty’s later reconciliation with Hartford, Claudie, and with Alejandra offer hope for the future.’

Presented by the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Barbara Jefferis Award is awarded every two years for ‘the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society’. As the winner, Treloar receives prize money of $55,000, with $5000 to be distributed to the other shortlisted authors: Tony Birch (The White Girl), Melissa Lucashenko (Too Much Lip), Favel Parrett (There Was Still Love), and Tara June Winch (The Yield).

You can read more about Treloar’s win here.

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Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island

Lucy Treloar

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