The second Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript will be announced at the 2017 Perth Writers Festival on Saturday 25 February, 11:30am-12:30pm, in the Tropical Grove. To celebrate the talented writers that made the shortlist, we will be sharing extracts on our blog and social media in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.
Karen Han Throssell is a Melbourne writer and poet. Her book The Pursuit of Happiness was published by Hyland House in 1988. She has had four collections of poetry published and has had poems published in various journals and anthologies including Westerly, and the Margaret River Press anthology Fire. She has won various awards and in 2016 Motherhood Statement was shortlisted for the Book of the Year award by the Society of Women Writers.
Her manuscript shorlisted for the 2016 Dorothy Hewett Award
is called 'The Man Who Wasn't There'.
From 'The Man Who Wasn't There'
I have in front of me two photos of my Dad from different eras. One – the Dad I remember best in 1999, a year before he died aged seventy-six, from an overdose of the painkiller Doloxene. The other from newspaper photos taken fifty years earlier, accompanied by sensational headlines about the Royal Commission into Espionage.
In the first photo, he is sitting beneath a portrait of his mother – Katharine Susannah Prichard – writer, and founding member of the Australian Communist Party. Katharine’s portrait is in pastels, many shades of brown. She is wearing her favourite brown corduroy jacket, I remember it. Quite radical clothing for a grandmother, in the 1960s. She looks benign, calm, her grey hair in waves across her forehead, and she has a slightly sad smile.
Dad is staring, even glaring at the camera. Maybe he was being interviewed by a journalist. He has a face which declares he does not suffer fools…
my story –
get it right.