Angela is the expert in all things Stella at Welcome to My Library – I had only read one of the six books: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. It was a gripping read, a book I couldn’t put down until the very end, so it is no surprise to me that it is the 2016 Winner of The Stella Prize. Congratulations to all those nominated!
Read Angela Long’s review of The Natural Way of Things HERE
Announced on the 19th April, the $50,000 award was presented to Charlotte Wood who delivered an acceptance speech that is a very worthwhile read.
She discusses awards, and how they ‘cannot be the measure of one’s worth as a writer‘, but it will ‘afford me the only thing every writer really wants, time and mental space to work, but because I want to stake a claim for literature as an essential social benefit, in and of itself. I would like all writers – especially those here tonight and most especially women, who so often put their need to make art behind the needs of others – to remember what I rediscovered on that bleak day I mentioned earlier: that to create art is itself an act of enlargement, of enrichment and affirmation. To write well is to light that candle in the darkness, offering solace, illumination – and maybe even the possibility of transformation – not just for the writer but for the reader, and for our society itself.’
Charlotte also talked of intellectual freedom, why we write and of ‘the beauty of one’s imagination..‘, of being truthful and that all have doubts about their ‘truth’ and creation. But why do we write? She lists her own reasons, and it has made me think to write my own list as well. Her speech in itself is beautiful truth.
Click HERE to read Charlotte Wood’s acceptance speech.
Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Indie Fiction Book of the Year prizes, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the Miles Franklin. It will be published in the UK and North America in 2016. Charlotte was also editor of the short story anthology Brothers and Sisters, and for three years edited The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine. Her work has been shortlisted for various prizes including the Christina Stead, Kibble and Miles Franklin Awards. Two novels – The Children and The Natural Way of Things – have been optioned for feature films.