Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Good Lord.

The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered annually for “the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society”.

The Australian Society of Authors announces Helen Garner as the winner of the Barbara Jefferis Award 2009, for The Spare Room.

4 comments:

Dale Slamma said...

It is all very odd. I believe that the wording in the word was specified in the bequest that funds the award.

As to the choice of this year's winner. Well....last year's was a better choice.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Yes. It's not that The Spare Room doesn't have its merits, and there's something painfully appealing about its narrator's sheer loathsomeness, but how the judges persuaded themselves that its unempathic narrator and her manipulative patient empower the status of women (whatever that means) I cannot begin to imagine.

lucy tartan said...

Gosh, did we read the same book?!? Iwas telling AustLit students just last week that Helen Garner elicits polarised responses from readers. It never stops being surprising when that is actually demonstrated, though.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

I'm not anti-HG, or even anti-The Spare Room. I like a narrator I don't like (goes for David Lurie in Disgrace as well as for Helen in TSR), but - except for its debunking the woman-as-natural-carer myth, for what that's worth - I still can't imagine a reading that has TSR depicting women in a positive way. A rounded, psychologically interesting way, but not a "positive" one.