Monday, 10 May 2010
'The Boat' wins 2010 Kathleen Mitchell Award

Nam Le's The Boat (Penguin) has won the biennial Kathleen Mitchell Award.

The award, for young Australian authors who are 29 years or less at the time of their book's publication, was established in 1996 by the will of Kathleen Adele Michelle and is now worth $10,000. It is intended to nurture ‘young Australian authors by giving them that extra assistance for developing and improving their literary capabilities', said award trustee spokesperson Clare Stanford.

The judges--Camilla Nelson, lecturer in communications at the University of Notre Dame; Pauline Fitzgerald, senior education officer at the State Library of New South Wales; and writer Susan Geason--said Le's collection of short stories 'combines strong characters with virtuoso prose style that is simultaneously lean and lyrical, and in which images are made to work hard for the space they occupy'.

The panel also praised Craig Silvey for his Miles Franklin longlisted novel Jasper Jones (A&U), which they described as ‘a highly engaging novel with a distinctive voice'.

Le said it was ‘a great thrill and honour' to receive the award ‘and to be included in the company of past recipients'. The inaugural winner of the award was Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett.

penguin awards namle kathleenmitchellaward