It's such an honour and surprise because, apart from anything else, this is an Australian Society of Authors award 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'. That means a great deal to me. It is named in honour of the late Barbara Jefferis: novelist, founding member of the Australian Society of Authors and its first woman President.
And there are so many significant and terrific books this year that are eligible, I'm really quite delighted.
I mean, really - look at this shortlist:
- Georgia Blain: Too Close to Home (Vintage)
- Claire Corbett: When We Have Wings (Allen & Unwin)
- Anna Funder: All That I Am (Penguin)
- Gail Jones: Five Bells (Vintage)
- Gillian Mears: Foal's Bread (Allen & Unwin)
- Frank Moorhouse: Cold Light (Vintage).
Also highly commended were:
- SJ Finn: This Too Shall Pass (Sleepers)
- Meg Mundell: Black Glass (Scribe).
Chuffed. Me. Hell, yeah. And I don't care who knows it.
Hearty congratulations to all those commended and shortlisted. And happy IWD 2012.
You can read more about the award on the ASA site.