Stephanie Bishop wins The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction
Stephanie Bishop has been named the winner of The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2015 for her second novel, The Other Side of the World. Bishop will receive $4,000 in prize money.
Chair of judges and the editor of Readings Monthly Elke Power described The Other Side of the World as unforgettable. She says, “Stephanie Bishop’s affinity for landscape is profound; her prose is elegant and viscerally evocative. Bishop has a rare gift for capturing the intangible – nostalgia, homesickness, ambivalence about identity and family, and more – and casting it anew. The Other Side of the World is a significant and exciting contribution to the Australian literary canon.”
Guest judge and author of Burial Rites, Hannah Kent says the work will undoubtedly provoke discussion: “Beautifully written and atmospheric, Bishop illustrates the deep ambivalence one woman feels towards marriage and motherhood with breathtaking insight. Her skill as a writer is unquestionable: she has a poet’s eye for the world, particularly landscape, and her evocation of 1960s Cambridge and Perth is exceptional.”
Kent joined the judging panel of Readings staff to select the winner from a shortlist of six titles. (You can see the full shortlist and read the judges' comments for each title here.) Of the shortlist she says: “The shortlisted titles for this year’s Prize are of extraordinary quality… it was invigorating to read a shortlist of rare and original work that offers such diversity in genre, theme and form.”
In response to the news that she had won, Bishop said: “I’m so thrilled to receive this year’s Readings Prize – the shortlist was formidable and I was honoured to be in the company of writers that I greatly admire, all of whom are deserving of recognition. Readings is an extraordinary supporter of Australian writing in all its varieties and I’m incredibly grateful for this. Such an award makes a huge difference in the life of any writer: it celebrates, validates and encourages you to face the next blank page.”
You can meet Stephanie Bishop and hear her in conversation with guest judge Hannah Kent at a special event in our Hawthorn shop on Wednesday 11 November at 6.30pm. This event is free but please book here.