[First filed: Jul 16, 2010 @ 7:45]
Australia’s richest literary prize, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, has shortlisted Canberra’s Alan Gould for the Fiction category where he’s up against heavyweights such as J. M. Coetzee and David Malouf.
Alan’s entry is “The Lake Woman” which Les Murray described thusly:
An Australian soldier in British service parachutes into the roaring embattled skies of the night before DDay, and lands in a vast lake of flooded fields. His encounter with a mysterious woman who seems to rule that water world deflects him from the war and from all the promise his life had seemed to hold. This is a strange and compelling novel.
The judging panel had this to say:
The poet and novelist Alan Gould has written the finest and most poignant work of his career with The Lakewoman. The novel is subtitled ‘a romance’, which prepares us for the strange encounters, the sudden perils, the near miraculous transformations and redemptions that it offers to the reader. Here is a portrait of male decency and duty direly beset, but also of resilience. Its counterpart is to be found in the woman of the title, who moves subtly, honourably, self-protectively between different realms. Gould’s experiment is bold, but it is confidently and affectingly sustained from hectic beginning to peaceful end.
One for your bookclubs win lose or draw.