And the winner is…

Tracker by Alexis Wright.

OF COURSE the only book I didn’t read was the winner… Never mind, I now have a copy that was signed by Wright just after she won the 2018 Stella Prize.

I was lucky to attend the event this year (held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art). I had a million fan-girl moments. Tracey Spicer’s opening address about history’s reluctance to hear women’s voices, and her inclusion of personal stories was powerful but of course the crowd was busting for the 2018 Prize announcement.

You can read Wright’s acceptance speech here but I will highlight some words that were truly wonderful. In acknowledging the ancestral stories of Indigenous people, Wright said –

“…we safeguard in the world’s oldest library – the land, seas, skies and atmosphere of this country.”


16 responses

  1. How lovely to have such a special signed copy Kate. And how lovely to have been at the event. I’d love to go, but I’d have to feel I’d read most of the books – as you’ve done – not to feel a fraud!

  2. Dontcha hate it when it’s the only one you haven’t read!
    I have to say, I’m up to p399 now, and the more I read, the more I would rather Terra Nullius had won. Aboriginal politics is heavy going…

    • That’s interesting to hear Lisa … it sounds, from what you and others say, that it’s really interesting in terms of what she’s tried to do, but that it’s not particularly readable?

      • Well, I did, honestly, find it very readable up to where I stopped and wrote the review. And that was just sheer dumb luck, I had no idea what was coming. After that I started to have some reservations about some of the anecdotes that were thought to be funny, but which I think are ruthlessly cruel and/or defamatory, and also some relentlessly negative stuff about other notable Indigenous activists and non-Indigenous people trying to help. (Not that it’s my place to make any decisions about it,) I don’t think it helps the cause to make these disagreements more public than they already are, it’s just grist to the racists’ mill. And a lot of it was very repetitive.
        I think many people will stop reading after the first part about his childhood and early adulthood, as indeed I was strongly tempted to do.

      • Thanks for this Lisa. Sounds -hmm, sounds what! I’m not sure. I think I mean, sounds provocative. The whole thing about inter-indigenous politics as you say adds grist to the racists’mill and yet it’s important for non-indigenous people to see that indigenous people are diverse in views etc like we are. Still cruel and defamatory doesn’t sound appealing.

    • Even though I haven’t even started Tracker, I still think Terra should have won, for lots of reasons – well-written, creative, a great twist, has enough political commentary to make a point but not too much to alienate people, is timely… Anyway, what’s done is done! Although I probably should have started Tracker as soon as I got it, I didn’t – I needed a change of pace from my Stella reading. It’s likely to sit on my shelf until summer now, which is usually when I get stuck into chunky books.

    • I was lucky to score a seat via a friend – she knew how much I love the Stella and wangled me an invite. She’s my BFF now, obviously 😉

      How was last night? Interesting?

      • It was great! All three panelists (Emily Bitto, Claire Wright and Alexis Wright of course) were fantastic. I want to read all their books now.

  3. Pingback: The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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