2011 Nita B Kibble Literary Awards prove a family affair - Perpetual Australia

August 06, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Perpetual has announced Brenda Walker as the winner of the 2011 Kibble Literary Award, currently worth $30,000, for her memoir Reading by Moonlight, which follows her mother's success in winning the award last year.

Brenda Walker previously won the Kibble Literary Award in 2006 for her book The Wing of the Night, while her mother, Shirley Walker, won the award for her memoir, The Ghost at the Wedding last year.

Andrew Thomas, General Manager of Philanthropy at Perpetual, said the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards (the Kibble Literary Awards), which encompass both the Kibble Award for established authors and the Dobbie Award for a first-published author, were established over 16 years ago by Ms Nita May Dobbie to encourage Australian women writers to improve, advance and further women's literature for the benefit of the community.

"With so much talk about the under-representation of women in Australian literary awards, we take great pride in being involved with these literary awards specifically developed to highlight female talent in Australia," said Mr Thomas.

"Since their inception, the Kibble Literary Awards have contributed to the careers of some of Australia's greatest female writers, including
Geraldine Brooks, Drusilla Modjeska and Helen Garner."

Mr Thomas said literary talent clearly runs in the Walker family.

"It's a wonderful testament for the Kibble Literary Awards, set up by Nita Dobbie in recognition of her literary aunt, to acknowledge the achievements of another literary family."

Professor Robert Dixon, Chair of the judging panel for the Kibble Literary Awards, said the standard of entries for the awards is exceptionally high, and it is a tribute to the Walker family that mother and daughter have both won the award.

Reading by Moonlight is a moving memoir of a time of illness and recovery, a reading diary that reaffirms literature's power to sustain.

"Ms Walker's memoir of surgery and her ultimate recovery is satisfyingly shaped by a pattern of allusions to other writers and to some of the great mythic events of world literature," said Professor Dixon.

Since the inception of the Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in 1994, many of Australia's leading female writers have received prizes, each benefiting from Nita Dobbie's vision. The trust behind the Awards was established with just under $400,000 and is managed by Perpetual. Today, it's worth more than $700,000 and has awarded more than $425,000 to writers.

Other authors shortlisted for the 2011 Kibble Award were Delia Falconer for Sydney, and Annette Stewart for Barbara Hanrahan:A Biography.

Perpetual also announced the 2011 winner of the Dobbie Literary Award, recognising the work of a first-published Australian female writer. This year, the award of $5,000 was presented to Kristel Thornell for her historical fiction Night Street.

Night Street is inspired by the life and work of Australian painter Clarice Beckett, who flourished in Melbourne in the early years of the twentieth century.

"Thornell's atmospheric writing does a wonderful job of evoking the Melbourne of Beckett's time, as well as the process of painting and Beckett's unconventional life," said Professor Dixon.

Other authors shortlisted for the Dobbie Award were Lara Fergus for My Sister Chaos and G.L. Osborne for Come Inside.

The Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards shortlist and winners are decided by an expert judging panel consisting of:

- Professor Robert Dixon, FAHA (Chair) - University of Sydney
- Ms Jean Bedford - Novelist and creative writing teacher at the University of Technology, Sydney
- Ms Maggie Patton - State Library of New South Wales