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Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow is the 2022 winner of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at Readings Emporium in Melbourne on Wednesday 26 October 2022.
‘Cold Enough for Snow was ten years in the making and, during that time, being in the world of independent bookshops and talking to booksellers was one of the best literary educations I could have asked for,’ said Au upon receiving the news. ‘I was so humbled even to be part of this year’s shortlist alongside such incredible authors. My gratitude to Readings staff for their irreplaceable knowledge, and to the judges of this year’s prize.’
In their report, the judging panel said of the work: ‘It was a difficult decision to choose one title from this list. The judging panel reflected on, rather than judged, how each title gave us a new insight into our humanity. To that end, Jessica Au’s quiet contemplative prose about a mother and a daughter traveling was considered the needed juxtaposition to the past year.’
Au’s book is the inaugural winner of The Novel Prize, which saw her manuscript selected from hundreds of international submissions and published by three publishers in three continents: Giramondo Publishing (AU), New Directions (UK) and Fitzcarraldo (UK). The book has since been shortlisted for numerous awards and translated into 18 languages and counting.
The judges of the 2022 Readings New Australian Fiction Prize were Christine Gordon (head of community engagement and programming and chair of judges), Carolyn Watson (Readings Doncaster), Susan Stevenson (Readings Malvern), Tye Cattanach (former schools and libraries specialist) and last year’s winner, Andrew Pippos (Lucky’s).