I’m a little bit late with this, so belated congratulations to Alexis Wright, whose book Tracker — a collective biography of Aboriginal leader, political thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth — has been named winner of the 2018 Stella Prize.
Sadly, this is one of the books on the shortlist that I ran out of time to read, but it’s sitting on my Kindle waiting for the right time and place for me to delve into.
From what I gather it not only requires a certain commitment to tackle, not many people expected it to win, with most money on Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius or Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come.
This is what the chair of judges, Fiona Steger, said about the book:
The winning book is unique in the history of Australian letters and it artfully fulfils all the Stella Prize’s criteria: it is excellent, engaging and original. We invite all readers to immerse themselves in a history, a landscape, a time and a story that is heartbreaking, poignant and humorous.
[…] In awarding the 2018 Stella Prize to Alexis Wright for Tracker the judges wish to acknowledge the craft of the author and pay tribute to the richness of the memories shared by the many people she interviewed. This book will enrich and change the understanding of readers. A man like Tracker Tilmouth could change our world. It takes a writer like Alexis Wright to change the world of Australian letters.
The $50,000 prize is for Australian women writers and only books, both fiction and non-fiction, published in 2017 were eligible.