Anita Heiss has won this year’s $20,000 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing for her memoir on identity Am I Black Enough for You? (Random House).
The award was presented at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum as part of celebrations to mark Indigenous Literacy Day on 5 September.
The shortlist, as previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, included Purple Threads (Jeanine Leane, UQP) and The Boundary (Nicole Watson, UQP).
The judges said ‘it was very exciting to bear witness to the further development of Aboriginal literature. All entries attested to that rich growth in the range and quality of the writing; an enthralling cross-section of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life today.’
The judges also remarked on the compassion evident in the book and the ‘deft weaving of family and national history with an event which has laid a platform for the required standards of Australian debate when discussing Aboriginal identity’.
For the full list of VPLA shortlisted works, see Bookseller+Publisher’s report here. For more information about Indigenous Literacy Day see the website at www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au. Read a round-up of events online here. Read a Bookeller+Publisher review of Am I Black Enough for You? here.