Tasmanian novelist and essayist Amanda Lohrey is the winner of the 2012 Patrick White Literary Award. The award is given annually to an author who has ‘made a contribution to Australian Literature’ and deserves further recognition.
The judging committee’s citation commented on the importance of Lohrey’s fiction, beginning with The Morality of Gentlemen (1984), described by the late Stephen Murray-Smith as ‘the best political novel to have been written in Australia’, and extending through to her most recent book, the prize-winning Reading Madame Bovary (2010). The judges stated that Lohrey creates ‘memorable characters shaped by moral or ethical dilemmas and questions. Her prose style has developed a distinctive grace and lucidity in expressing these complex issues.’
The Patrick White Award was established by Patrick White in 1975 with the proceeds of his 1973 Nobel Prize in Literature. It aims to advance ‘Australian literature by encouraging the writing of novels, short stories, poetry and/or plays for publication or performance’. Further information is available from the award’s administrator, Perpetual.