Fisherwoman memoir longlisted for Dobbie Literary Award
10th April 2014
Albany author and fisherwoman Sarah Drummond was having lunch with her current boss, a landscaper, when she got the call to say she was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award.
‘We’d had a difficult morning working out levels and angles on some sleeper stairs. Everything seemed to go wrong, including the angles we’d decided upon – and then cut,’ said Drummond.
‘After lunch the mood was quite different. As soon as either of us got annoyed with our self-created debacle, the other would lean in and whisper “Nita May Dobbie.”’
It’s a typical story from the down-to-earth writer whose debut book Salt Story has been described by reviewers as ‘lyrical and utterly absorbing’ and ‘thoroughly original’.
Drummond said that while the longlisting came as a shock, award recognition was important to writers who feel they need to have a conversation with others in the world.
‘To me, awards can be signposts to a reader – here is a writer who wants to talk with them,’ said Drummond.
The Dobbie is one of two prizes awarded by the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers: awards which aim to encourage Australian women writers to improve and advance literature for the benefit of the community.
Drummond said she saw Salt Story as a love story for her region and the fishing culture that had stayed strong throughout the decades.
‘ Salt Story both examines and busts up the gender tropes in Australian culture. I’ve always liked doing this – in writing – and in my other life where work is often physically demanding. I think the link is the poetry, the beguiling tales, an ear for “voice” and an antenna for provincial narratives,’ said Drummond.
The Dobbie Literary Award (currently valued at $5,000) recognises a first published Australian author. Fiona McFarlane, Margaret Merrilees, Kate Richards, Inga Simpson and Jill Stark also made the list. More information about the award is at http://www.perpetual.com.au/kibble/
Salt Story was Fremantle Press’ fastest selling new release of 2013 and is now in its second print run. It is available from all good bookstores and online.