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Alexis Wright wins the 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker
Worth $50,000, the Stella Prize is a major annual literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing. In her acceptance speech, Alexis Wright – the first Indigenous Australian to receive the prize in its six-year history – said she was ‘completely overwhelmed’ that Tracker had won, and that she ‘really had to spend some time unpacking this idea.’
‘I would like to thank you for considering the important messages in this book and its style,’ she said. ‘I wanted it to be a book for our times and from our place in the world. I am deeply grateful to you for helping Tracker reach a greater audience.’
Wright also praised the ‘remarkable diversity’ of the year’s shortlist, saying that ‘a literary dialogue that allows us to have greater knowledge and understanding of each other…is what will make Australian literature truly marvellous, relevant and far stronger than it has ever been.’
Published in November 2017, Tracker was also shortlisted for the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction, and is longlisted for the 2018 ABIA Book Awards. The book can be purchased through our website and in bookstores.
In this remarkable biography, Alexis Wright follows an Aboriginal tradition of storytelling that she describes as a ‘practice for crossing landscapes and boundaries, giving many voices a part in the story’. Tracker is a collective memoir of Tracker Tilmouth, charismatic Aboriginal leader, thinker, entrepreneur, visionary and provocateur. Tilmouth worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles including Director of the Central Land Council. This unique, majestic biography has been composed by Wright from interviews with family, friends, foes and Tilmouth himself. 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 unique humour. Wright has crafted an epic that is a truly rewarding read.Stella Prize judges’ citation for Tracker
Image credit: Connor Tomas O’Brien