The $60,000 annual prize is designed to recognise a novel of “the highest literary merit” that presents “Australian life in any of its phases”. Winch is the second indigenous writer in a row to win the award, following last year’s winner Melissa Lucashenko for Too Much Lip.
This how the chair of the judging panel, Richard Neville, described the winning book:
“In English ‘yield’ signifies what one takes from the land. In Wiradjuri it is ‘the things you give to, the movement, the space between things: baayanha.’ The Yield explores the legacies of colonial violence, shame, intergenerational trauma and environmental destruction. Winch celebrates and amplifies the contemporary resurgence and relevance of the Wiradjuri language. The Yield, a story of pain, loss, resilience and hope, is a novel where the past is the present is the future.”
Typically, I haven’t read The Yield, although I bought it not long after publication last year. I started it on the weekend and from the first couple of pages I just knew I was going to love it. The prose style, the ideas and themes, and the structure all appeal to me. Stay tuned for a review coming soon.
You can read more about today’s announcement on the official website.
And you can see a list of the shortlisted titles I have read here.