From a very diverse shortlist of six authors, Alexis Wright, for her book Tracker has won this year’s Stella Prize. Judging panel chair Fiona Stager said the winning book—a biography of Aboriginal leader, thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth that incorporates interviews with family, friends, foes and Tilmouth himself—is an ‘extraordinary, majestic book’. ‘It is one man’s story told by many voices, almost operatic in scale. With a tight narrative structure, compelling real-life characters, the book sings with insight and Tracker’s characteristic humour. Wright has crafted an epic that is a truly rewarding read,’ said Stager.
In her acceptance speech, Wright says :
Tracker Tilmouth was a visionary and a person of enormous inner strength who genuinely loved this land and knew it like the back of his hand. And much more, he genuinely made people feel alive. He could do this to people no matter who they were. He would do this whether it was through his thinking and ideas of how to build Aboriginal economies, political maneuvering and analysis, or from his endlessly sharp and, at times, irreverent wit, from the jokes that would make you laugh or make you annoyed with him. Or he could make you feel alive from the way he endlessly challenged you to be much more than how you saw yourself, or wanted to be.
Wright also acknowledges the diversity of shortlist which is the great celebration of this award. She says
The great celebration today is that we have many exciting, diverse voices in the world of Australian letters. We encompass the world right here in our literature. And even in this shortlist that has been judged as being some of the very best of women’s literature published in the past year, we demonstrate our remarkable diversity, internationalism, and maturity as people of many backgrounds, and here including Indonesia, Iran and Sri Lanka, as well as two Aboriginal writers. A literary dialogue that allows us to have greater knowledge and understanding of each other, and acceptance of difference, and respect for each other in our diversity, is what will make Australian literature truly marvellous, relevant, and far stronger than it has ever been.
City of Parramatta Library has a few copies of title in its collection for our borrowers.