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The True Colour of the Sea wins 2019 Colin Roderick Literary Award

4/04/2020 8:44 PM
The True Colour of the Sea wins 2019 Colin Roderick Literary Award

Robert Drewe has won the 2019 Colin Roderick Literary Award with his short story compilation The True Colour of the Sea

The Colin Roderick Award is one of Australia's oldest literary prizes, originally founded in 1967, with the aim to honur the best original book published in Australia in the last calendar year. 

Robert Drewe has written many award-winning novels, short stories and plays; yet the Award judges recognised an evolution in his writing with The True Colour of the Sea. Chair of the Judging Panel Dr Leigh Dale said of the book, 

'There is a bleaker, sparer sensibility here, in contrast to his previous poetic style. The language is clear, unpretentious, used with great precision and nuance.The stories are told in simple language using a variety of pitch-perfect voices, starting with ‘Bet,’ who has lost her husband.There is a brilliant balance between what is included – the telling detail – and what is left unsaid. The title story, the last in the collection, shifts the focus from death (and sex) to art. It shows characters with a brutal contempt for the artist as a young painter is abandoned on an island, left to search for the ‘true’ colour of the sea.'

The True Colour of the Sea was shorstlisted against Sun Music: New & Selected Poems by Judith Beveridge, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, The Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones, and Dinner with the Dissidents by John Tesarsch.