Where the Fruit Falls by South Australia writer Karen Wyld has won the 2020 UWAP Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.
Where the Fruit Falls is a novel that gives voice to three generations of displaced Indigenous women determined to return to their ancestral Country. Country has an omniscient presence in their story lines, guiding the women across vivid desert and coastal landscapes. In our reading we are invited to listen, and learn about Indigenous women’s ways of being in their worlds. As the novel opens: “An ancient ocean roars under the red dirt. Hush. Be still for just a moment. Hear its thundering waves crashing on unseen shores.”
The judges remarked on the manuscript, “In poetic and evocative storytelling, this writing celebrates the agency of Indigenous women to traverse ever-present landscapes of colonisation and intergenerational trauma”. In this way, Where the Fruit Falls recognises both the open wounds of living histories of colonisation and the healing power of belonging to Country. The promise of this novel is in this exploration of healing, and how next generations of Indigenous women might reconcile themselves with inherited histories of colonisation and carve out new pathways for themselves.
We were unanimous in selecting Karen Wyld’s novel as this year’s winner of the Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript. Look out for Where the Fruit Falls in October 2020.
Karen Wyld lives in SA but her grandmother’s country (Martu) is in Western Australia’s Pilbara. She is a freelance writer, author and consultant. Karen regularly contributes op-eds for NITV and IndigenousX, and has been published in Al Jazeera, Meanjin, Junkee and Guardian Australia. She writes trade reviews for Books & Publishing and has been published in Sydney Review of Books. Her debut novel When Rosa Came Home was short-listed for the 2015 SA People’s Choice Award.
Judges have also highly commended Caitlin Maling's collection of poetry, Fish Work, which will also be published by UWAP in October 2020.
Fish Work is a suite of poems containing various modes and registers of expression. The collection circles around the theme of the ocean and all of its occupants, alongside a life researching this ecology and closely observing people and place during field work. It is an intriguing exploration of the multitude of experiences of being in the world.
Caitlin Maling is a Western Australian poet who grew up in and around Fremantle. She has studied at the University of Melbourne, Cambridge University and the University of Houston. Her work has been published in Australian Poetry, Best Australian Poetry, Westerly, Island, Meanjin, Australian Book Review and The Australian among others. Her previous collections are Conversations I’ve Never Had (2015) and Border Crossing (2017). Maling has been shortlisted for the Dame Mary Gilmore Award and in the WA Premier's Book Awards.
For more information on The Dorothy Hewett Award, the judges report and a media release, please click here.