The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is one of Australia’s most prestigious awards for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of 35. Katherine Brabon’s novel The Memory Artist has just been named the 2016 winner of this major accolade. Congratulations Katherine!
From the press release:
How can hope exist when the past is so easily forgotten?
Pasha Ivanov is a child of the Freeze, born in Moscow during Brezhnev’s repressive rule over the Soviet Union. As a small child, Pasha sat at the kitchen table night after night as his parents and their friends gathered to preserve the memory of terrifying Stalinist violence, and to expose the continued harassment of dissidents.
When Gorbachev promises glasnost, openness, Pasha, an eager twenty-four year old, longs to create art and to carry on the work of those who came before him. He writes; falls in love. Yet that hope, too, fragments and by 1999 Pasha lives a solitary life in St Petersburg. Until a phone call in the middle of the night acts as a summons both to Moscow and to memory.
Through recollections and observation, Pasha walks through the landscapes of history, from concrete tower suburbs, to a summerhouse during Russia’s white night summers, to haunting former prison camps in the Arctic north. Pasha’s search to find meaning leads him to assemble a fractured story of Russia’s traumatic past.
Judges praise for The Memory Artist
“A haunting, poignant and beautifully written novel, and a moving meditation on loss, memory and the impact of generational terror.” – Jenny Barry, BooksPlus
“Katherine Brabon’s intelligent, emotional, historically-acute Russia-themed novel is a stirring reminder that Australian literature can rise up to be anything it wants to be.” – Stephen Romei, Literary Editor, The Australian
About the author
Katherine Brabon was born in Melbourne in 1987 and grew up in Woodend, Victoria. The Memory Artist is her first novel.
About the award
The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award has given many wonderful authors a public and deserved beginning to their writing careers including authors such as Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Andrew McGahan. More recently, winners of this award include the much acclaimed authors Rohan Wilson, Christine Piper and Murray Middleton.
For more information on the award, head over to the Allen & Unwin website.