The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered annually for 'the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society'.
Established in 2008, the Award is paid from the Barbara Jefferis Literary Fund, established by a bequest from Barbara’s husband, film critic John Hinde. Barbara Jefferis was a novelist, a founding member of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), and the ASA's first woman president. The award is administered by the ASA.
Source: https://asauthors.org/the-barbara-jefferis-award-1 Sighted: 15/11/2013
'Loretta’s mother was a trapeze artist in Europe, the star of the famed Rodzirkus circus, before she walked out on her drunken husband and his debts while on tour in Australia. But a life in 1960s suburban Adelaide was always going to be difficult, even if she does land herself the most handsome young barrister of the town, and Leda’s behaviour raises more than a few eyebrows.
'Leda’s father, handsome barrister Gilbert Lord, has no interest in his past, but hidden in a wardrobe are the journals of his ivory merchant great-great-grandfather who led an expedition to Australia’s desert interior to search for elephants.
'For Loretta, growing up in her mother’s flamboyant and often outrageous shadow, life is stifling and at times brutal. But the harder she tries to separate herself from her mother, the more she longs for her attention and love—and the more she finds that the past is inextricably woven into her own life and who she is.
'The Trapeze Act weaves stories of the circus and the doomed ivory expedition through a novel that is at once a heartbreaking tale of the search for acceptance and a celebration of the lustre and magic of life.' (Publication summary)
'From the award-winning author of House of Sticks comes a magnificent story of love, tragedy, and forgiveness lost.
'It is the winter of 1985, and 13-year-old Silver Landes is about to be pushed towards a decision that could split her world apart. Her mother, Ishtar, has fallen for the charismatic but unnerving Miller, and the three of them have moved from Brisbane to Hope Farm, a run-down hippie commune in rural Gippsland.
'Among the bedraggled residents of Hope, young Silver finds unexpected friendship and love. Has she found a home at last? Or will Ishtar's secrets force Silver into becoming an adult before she is ready, with devastating consequences?
'Hope Farm is a beautifully wrought, tender tale of what happens when love brings about unforeseen and unimaginable acts of sacrifice, and the enduring damage that can result from holding back the truth.' (Publication summary)
'The debut of a major Australian writer, The Night Guest is a mesmerising novel about trust, love, dependence, and the fear that the things you think you know may become the things you're least sure about.
One morning an elderly widow called Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea, but who has in fact come to care for Ruth.
Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem. How far can Ruth trust them? And as memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, how far can she trust herself?
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane's hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, power and perception; about how the past can colonise the present, and about things (and people) in places they shouldn't be. Above all, it's a brilliantly involving story about two very particular women.' (Publisher's blurb)With Sea Hearts.
'On remote Rollrock Island, the sea-witch Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself a bride; an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife. But what cost will be borne by the people of Rollrock - the men, the women, the children - once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?'
Source: Publisher's website.With The Night Guest.
'Anna Funder's utterly compelling first novel All That I Am is about the heroic and largely tragic fate of a small group of left-wing German activists who opposed the rise of Hitler. It centres on two real people: the playwright Ernst Toller (famously eulogized by his friend W H Auden), and one of his associates, Ruth Koplowitz. Ruth was also a friend of Toller, and came to live in Sydney after WW2, where Anna got to know her well in later life. Their lives were tied together by the charismatic, passionate Dora - All That I Am vividly, passionately and irresistibly brings back to life their struggles, their hopes, their fears and their fates.'
Source: Penguin News, 6 October 2010
'A ship is wrecked in 1887 near the small country town of Colego. The sea throws up one troubled survivor who claims to know only her name.
'Glenys Osborne's compelling first novel traces the impact of the loss of the Lucy on the town of Colego and how the tidal pull of this event shapes and disturbs those who come after.' (From the publisher's website.)
'The China Garden follows three protagonists over a 2-week period that culminates in a shocking event that affects them all. Fifty-year-old Laura has come home from Italy to bury her mother Angela and get her affairs in order. However, she has an unexpected surprise waiting for her. Until Angela's death, Laura had believed she was an only child, but the will has made allowance for a brother she had never known, adopted out at birth. In another part of town, 70-year-old Cress is grieving the loss, not only of Angela, but of her own faith. She consoles herself with irregular thefts from the op shop where she volunteers: an old wedding dress, a silver fork, small pictures of the Virgin Mary. Somewhere among these things, she knows, she will relocate faith, she will fend off fear. Kieran, the watcher, sees them both. Kieran is a gatherer of information, a 30-year-old quiz show addict who failed junior school but is good at other kinds of knowing; who knits his world together with cunningly garnered facts and lovingly stored information. As the tragic event looms, it pierces and links the lives of the three characters. The China Garden explores identity in mid-century and mid-life; examining the effects of social policies in a country struggling to re-establish a facade of goodness and morality after a major world war. It shows how the events of mid-life, the death of parents, the confrontation with lost faith or the fruits of youthful mistakes might unravel the various versions of ourselves that we construct in order to survive.' Source: Provided by publisher.