Nick Earls’ series of five novellas, published monthly from May to September 2016 and collectively titled Wisdom Tree, has been shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award and the H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal.
Nick Earls is the author of fourteen books, including the bestselling novels Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses and Perfect Skin. His work has been published internationally in English and in translation. His latest work, Wisdom Tree, consists of five loosely connected novellas – Gotham, Venice, Vancouver, Juneau and NoHo, examining modern life and the contemporary pressures which can drive families apart.
One of Australia’s oldest literary awards, the Colin Roderick Award was founded by Professor Colin Roderick in 1967 and then renamed in memory of him following his death in 2000. The H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal meanwhile was created to mark the service of H.T. Priestley, the founding Chairman of the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies. The winner will be announced at the annual awards dinner in Townsville on 30th October 2017.
The shortlist was chosen from over 150 nominations, and the award and medal are presented to what is judged to have been the best original book published in Australia over the last calendar year. The submissions must tackle an aspect of Australian life but can be from any field of writing.
From the judges’ report: “Comfortably populated with recognizably Australian characters from varied walks of life, and enticing composed conversational scenes, the novellas achieve a delightful heteroglossia and linguistic polyphony, the equal of any modern novel.”
Reviewers have described the novellas as “a triumphant and extraordinary piece of fiction” (Sydney Morning Herald), “the most perfect novella in the history of the format” (North & South (NZ)), and “[an] immense collection of intensely wrought and fiercely compassionate novellas” (The Australian).