Added by Pat Williams on October 28, 2015
Joan London, author of two collections of short stories and three novels, has been awarded the 2015 Patrick White Literary Award.
The announcement comes just three months after the trustee, Perpetual, also announced Ms London as the winner of the 2015 Kibble Literary Award and highlights the important role philanthropy is playing in the Australian literary community.
Caitriona Fay, National Manager of Philanthropy & Not For Profit Services at Perpetual said: “When you consider Joan has won both the Kibble and Patrick White awards this year, it is clear philanthropy is having a significant impact on Australian literary talent.
“Patrick White established the award to create a legacy that would reward Australian writers and help them to continue to flourish. Joan’s double win will help her to do just that and ensure that she’s a name on our reading lists for many years to come.”
Benefitting from the proceeds of the Trust of Patrick White’s 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature, Ms London will receive $24,000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian literature. This follows her $30,000 win at the 2015 Kibble Literary Award earlier this year.
Reflecting on the achievement, Ms London said she was humbled to be bestowed such an honour from a fellow writer.
“I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Patrick White Award. It’s an award that has always intrigued me, embodying, it seems to me, the deepest values of Patrick White himself, who knew all about the highs and lows of the writing life, the anxiety and doubts that only solid, daily hours of application can help overcome.
“He knew also of the advantage of a secure living that enables writers to experiment, take risks, and give the necessary time and care to their work. It’s a writer’s prize to a fellow writer, and I feel very moved in accepting it,” Ms London said.
Joan London is the author of two collections of short stories and three novels, including The Golden Age, for which she recently won the 2015 Kibble Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She was educated at the University of Western Australia and has called the port city of Fremantle her home for almost 40 years. Despite this, travel has been an important part of Ms London’s life and global cities, nomadic characters and journeying infuse her writing.
Commenting on behalf of the 2015 judging panel, Dr Bernadette Brennan said: “The judges are pleased to select Joan London as the 2015 winner of the Patrick White Award. Her quiet, poetic prose opens up worlds, both real and imagined, of travel, desire, loss and love. London’s nomadic characters travel through space and time affirming through their relationships and varied histories a global humanity.”
The 2015 judging panel members comprised Dr Bernadette Brennan (Chair), Professor David Carter and Associate Professor Debra Adelaide.
Ms London will be officially honoured for her contribution to Australian literature at the Patrick White Literary Award celebration at Gleebooks in Sydney on Friday 13 November, 2015. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
The Patrick White Literary Award was established by Mr White to advance Australian literature “by encouraging the writing of novels, short stories, poetry and/or plays for publication or performance”. For the past 42 years the award has been bestowed to an author who has made an ongoing contribution to Australian literature, but may not have received due recognition.