The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Asher Literary Award.
From its website, it says ‘the Award is offered biennially to a female author whose work carries an anti-war theme. The Award is administered by the ASA on behalf of the Australia Council for the Arts.’
‘The Award was made possible by a generous bequest from Mrs Helen Waltraud Rosalie Asher. Asher, who also wrote under the name Helen Ulrich, was the author of the novel Tilly’s Fortunes (Penguin, 1986), as well as a number of shorter works published in various anthologies. A post-WWII refugee from Germany, Asher was deeply committed to Australia’s artistic and cultural life.’
The shortlist for this year:
- Our Lady of the Fence Post (J H Crone, UWA Publishing) – an imaginative response to news reports of the appearance of a Marian apparition on the construction site of a memorial for victims of the Bali bombing at Coogee, Sydney, in January 2003.
- Enemy (Ruth Clare, Viking) – Vietnam war: Ruth Clare’s father came back from the Vietnam War a changed man: a violent, controlling parent and a dominating, aggressive husband…
- 1917 (Kelly Gardiner, Scholastic) – The German planes patrolled in hunting squads. They flew fast fighting craft streaking across the sky in tight formation. The greatest of them was the Red Baron, the deadliest ace on the Front. Hed shot down twenty-one of our planes ina single month. And now were were in his firing line. The war in France rages in the skies, and support for the war in Australia turns cold. Alex flies high above the trenches of the Western Front, while a world away his sister Maggie finds herself in the midst of political upheaval. Somehow, both must find the courage to fight on.
- A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy (Libby Hathorn, illus by Phil Lesnie, Lothian) – A moving story for kids, told completely in dialogue, about a young Australian soldier in the battle of the Somme.
- The Waiting Room (Leah Kaminsky, Vintage) – Winner of the Voss literary prize. Compelling, moving and memorable. The Waiting Room captures the sights, sounds, accents and animosities of a country overflowing with stories.