The Barabara Jefferis Award 2020

Barbara Jefferis was a feminist, a founding member of the Australian Society of Authors, its first woman President and, in the words of Thomas Keneally, “a rare being amongst authors, being both a fine writer but also organisationally gifted. She was a professional and internationally published writer long before most of us dreamed of such things”.

The Australian Society of Authors, Trustee of the Barbara Jefferis Fund, was delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 Barbara Jefferis Award was Lucy Treloar for Wolfe Island.

The judges noted:

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.

Lucy Treloar’s novel is of immense contemporary relevance about the redemptive power of female intuition, resistance and resilience.

Wolfe Island has been reviewed in these pages and is accompanied by an interview with the author Lucy Treloar.

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