The Voss Literary Prize is a new award dedicated to the memory of historian Vivian Robert Le Vaux Voss. It is awarded to the best novel published in Australia in the previous year.
The Voss Literary Prize was inaugurated in 2014.
'When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and give her mother an inspiring break from the difficult life she has endured.
'Twenty-five years earlier the abduction and murder of Jasmine’s sister shocked and broke their tight-knit community in northern NSW. The legacy of losing their sister and daughter follows Jasmine and Della as they visit the homes of English literary greats such as Thomas Hardy, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, with Jasmine hoping to escape the challenges of the life she has carved for herself and Della, reflecting on the rich stories of her own life and people.' (Publication summary)
'Erica Marsden’s son, an artist, has been imprisoned for homicidal negligence. In a state of grief, Erica cuts off all ties to family and friends, and retreats to a quiet hamlet on the south-east coast near the prison where he is serving his sentence.
'There, in a rundown shack, she obsesses over creating a labyrinth by the ocean. To build it—to find a way out of her quandary—Erica will need the help of strangers. And that will require her to trust, and to reckon with her past.
'The Labyrinth is a hypnotic story of guilt and denial, of the fraught relationship between parents and children, that is also a meditation on how art can both be ruthlessly destructive and restore sanity. It shows Amanda Lohrey to be at the peak of her powers.' (Publication summary)
'After a decade in Europe August Gondiwindi returns to Australia for the funeral of her much-loved grandfather, Albert, at Prosperous House, her only real home and also a place of great grief and devastation.
'Leading up to his death Poppy Gondiwindi has been compiling a dictionary of the language he was forbidden from speaking after being sent to Prosperous House as a child. Poppy was the family storyteller and August is desperate to find the precious book that he had spent his last energies compiling.
'The Yield also tells the story of Reverend Greenleaf, who recalls founding the first mission at Prosperous House and recording the language of the first residents, before being interred as an enemy of the people, being German, during the First World War.
'The Yield, in exquisite prose, carefully and delicately wrestles with questions of environmental degradation, pre-white contact agriculture, theft of language and culture, water, religion and consumption within the realm of a family mourning the death of a beloved man.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'The Shepherd’s Hut follows Jaxie, who flees his sleepy hometown and abusive father and heads north ‘for the only person in the world who understands him’. Jaxie ‘traverses the vast, bare West Australian wheatbelt, heading towards the abandoned goldfields, staying out of sight long enough to reach the refuge of the salt country at the edge of the desert’. ' (Publication summary)
'They chose not to speak and now they are gone. What's left to fill the silence is no longer theirs. This is my story, woven from the threads of rumour and legend.'
'Jakub Rand flees his village for Prague, only to find himself trapped by the Nazi occupation. Deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he is forced to sort through Jewish books for a so-called Museum of the Extinct Race. Hidden among the rare texts is a tattered prayer book, hollow inside, containing a small pile of dirt.
'Back in the city, Františka Roubíčková picks over the embers of her failed marriage, despairing of her conversion to Judaism. When the Nazis summon her two eldest daughters for transport, she must sacrifice everything to save the girls from certain death.
'Decades later, Bram Presser embarks on a quest to find the truth behind the stories his family built around these remarkable survivors.
'The Book of Dirt is a completely original novel about love, family secrets, and Jewish myths. And it is a heart-warming story about a grandson's devotion to the power of storytelling and his family's legacy.'