- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
The Night-Side of the Country
By Meaghan Delahunt
It is the Time of the Felled Men.
M, a writer, finds her own past triggered by the constant revelations of misogyny and violence. The novel she is writing stalls. She speaks out about her past and this has consequences for her life and work – including the threat of litigation. To escape, she retreats to an island off the Scottish coast and there she encounters B - a woman who may or may not be a figment of her imagination. This encounter takes M’s novel in an entirely different direction. As B reckons with her violent political past in an organisation known as the ‘Movement’, she finds herself suffering the consequences of stepping forward and speaking out. Together they create a different story.
All the way through, the threat looms large: A man may come here. We both know this much.
The novel plays with modes of storytelling. It fuses fiction, essay and memoir to address the central questions: How do we deal with trauma and gender violence? How do we give voice to that which has been unvoiced? How do we heal?
This feminist genre-crossing novel explores the creative process as a place of refuge, ambiguity, and as a starting point for resistance. The place where the ‘You’ and the ‘I’ connect.