Alice Robinson’s The Glad Shout has won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, in the bookseller’s 50th anniversary year. The prize offers $3000 to the winning author and aims to raise the profile of new and emerging Australian writers.
‘It’s incredibly wonderful to win a prize from such a phenomenal shortlist, especially for a novel about climate change, because I care so deeply about the subject matter. But it is even more meaningful to be awarded the prize by Readings in particular, a bookshop that has been central in my life since childhood. I’m so grateful to the judges, and to everyone at Readings who go above and beyond to support Australian writers and writing,’ said Alice.
Jennifer Down, 2019 guest judge and winner of the 2018 Readings Prize, said:
‘Robinson’s writing is finely attuned to the psychology of its characters, for whom she shows great tenderness. The effects of the climate emergency in the proximate future are rendered terrifyingly real in this cinematic and beautifully paced novel’.
The Glad Shout is a deeply moving homage to motherhood and the struggles of survival faced by women in difficult times. After a catastrophic storm destroys Melbourne, Isobel flees to higher ground with her husband and young daughter. Food and supplies run low, panic sets in and still no help arrives. To protect her daughter, Isobel must take drastic action.
Readings Managing Director, Mark Rubbo, was so moved by Alice’s book that he decided to support staff to attend the recent Climate Strike on 20 September, with four of the retailer’s seven stores closing their doors for the afternoon.
‘I thought Readings should help pressure the government to take a more proactive stand on tackling climate change,’ Rubbo said.
Staff at Affirm Press were similarly spurred to action by The Glad Shout’s stark reminder of what Melburnians stand to lose in the face of climate change. The team unanimously voted to close for business and attend the rally. It was heartening to see how many bookselling and publishing employees took to the streets for the rally – literary themed signs by Readings staff were among the best in the crowd of over 100,000.
The Glad Shout is Alice Robinson’s second novel. Her first, Anchor Point (2015), was critically acclaimed and longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Indie Book Awards (debut fiction). She lives in Warragul with her family.
Praise for The Glad Shout
‘This is a powerful novel.’
‘The Glad Shout floored me … Terrifying, beautiful and resonant in so many ways. This is a book about surviving disaster, told through the twin lenses of a cataclysmic weather event and an exploration of motherhood. Breathtaking.’ CLEMENTINE FORD
‘The Glad Shout is both a haunting elegy and a fierce paean to surviving the future. Riveting.’ CATE KENNEDY