Vicki Laveau-Harvie wins the 2019 Stella Prize

The winner of this year’s Stella Prize is The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie.

The Erratics is an intensely gripping, yet black-humoured family memoir, which follows Laveau-Harvie as she is summoned to her estranged parents' isolated ranch home in Canada after her elderly mother is unexpectedly hospitalised. Upon her arrival, she is horrified by the neglect she discovers. What ensues is a power play between her parents that takes a dramatic turn and leaves Vicki stuck in the middle of a bizarre family dilemma.

The panel of judges, which was chaired by Louise Swinn, said: ‘Set against the bitter cold of a Canadian winter, Vicki Laveau-Harvie’s The Erratics mines the psychological damage wrought on a nuclear family by a monstrous personality. Despite the dark subject matter, this book has a smile at its core, and Laveau-Harvie shows constant wit when depicting some harrowing times. The narrator somehow manages to see all viewpoints, and we are rewarded with an evocative and expansive view of a family that has more than its fair share of dysfunction. The writing throughout is of a consistently high standard and we were constantly delighted by this surprise of a book.’

You can read an interview with the author on the Stella Prize website.

Vicki Laveau-Harvie is a former academic and translator. She lives in Gordon, Sydney, where she is working on a collection of love poetry, and encouraging the beginnings of a novel about betrayal of trust and vineyards. The Erratics is her first book.

As the 2019 winner of the Stella Prize, Laveau-Harvie will receive $50,000 in prize money, while the five other shortlisted authors (Jenny Ackland, Enza Gandolfo, Jamie Marina Lau, Melissa Lucashenko and Maria Tumarkin) will each receive $3000.

The Stella Prize is presented for the best work of fiction or nonfiction by an Australian woman published in the previous calendar year.

You can find out more about the prize here.

The Erratics

The Erratics

Vicki Laveau-Harvie

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...