David Malouf named Michelle as the overall winner at an event at Sydney’s Gleebooks on Monday night. Michelle receives $5,000 for her winning story, which was drawn from a field of 1200 entries.
Rebekah Clarkson and Kim Mahood shared second prize with each writer receiving $1,500 for their shortlisted stories – The Five Truths of Manhood and The Accident respectively.
“Leaving Elvis manages to tell a story of regret and adolescent memories – a story containing a relinquished baby – and the pain of silence,” says judges Tony Birch, Maria Takolander, and Terri-ann White.
“It is distinctively and successfully achieved through the undercutting of wry language and expression and gentle humour. The figure of the grandmother in the story – a fiercely loyal survivor – is a wonderful creation.”
“We were impressed by the breadth of this story; the way it was shaped and told made it our unanimous choice as winner for 2013. It also, curiously, had echoes of the distinctive elements of Elizabeth Jolley’s own fiction and the subterranean worlds of silence and deception, and unlikely heroes, she created in her books.”
The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is one of the country’s most prestigious awards for short fiction. This year it attracted about 1200 entries – most of them newly written for this competition.
For more information, visit: www.australianbookreview.com.au for details,
Image: Michelle Michau-Crawford