Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears (A&U) has won this year’s Australian Literary Society (ALS) Gold Medal.
Mears was announced as the winner of this year’s award on 4 July during the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) in Wellington, New Zealand. Mears was unable to attend the event, instead accepting the award via a video message.
Mears’ novel, her first in 16 years, was selected from a shortlist of six, which also included All That I Am by Anna Funder (Penguin), People of Earth by Christopher Edwards (Vangabond Press), Five Bells by Gail Jones (Vintage), The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman (Vintage) and New and Selected Poems by Gig Ryan (Giramondo).
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, Foal’s Bread was one of five books shortlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award, which was presented to All That I Am by Anna Funder. Mears’ novel was also shortlisted for this year’s Barbara Jefferis Award and the Australian Booksellers Association Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award, which were won by Funder. Earlier this year, Foal's Bread was shortlisted in the fiction category of the 2012 Indie Awards, which was won by Elliot Perlman for The Street Sweeper.
Foal’s Bread is one of three titles shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Literary Award for Women Writers, which will be announced at the end of this month, and one of five titles shortlisted in the fiction category of this year's Prime Minister's Literary Awards. The design of the book was also recently recognised at the Australian Publishers Association Book Design Awards in May, winning the award for best designed literary fiction book.
The ALS Gold Medal is awarded each year for a book published in the preceding calendar year that, in the opinion of the judges, has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature for that year. Last year’s ALS Gold Medal was awarded to Miles Franklin Literary Award-winner Kim Scott for That Deadman Dance (Picador).
More information about the ALS Gold Medal can be found here. To read a review of Foal's Bread, click here.