A book that celebrates the power of literature has won its author - The University of Western Australia's Winthrop Professor Brenda Walker - a Victorian Premier's Literary Award.
An author of four acclaimed novels as well as a critic, essayist and teacher in the School of English and Cultural Studies, Winthrop Professor Walker's latest work, Reading by Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life, topped the non-fiction category: the $30,000 Nettie Palmer Prize.
During Tuesday night's awards ceremony, Victorian Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor said Professor Walker and her co-winners represented the best and brightest members of Australia's wide and diverse literary community.
Professor Walker said her work was the story of the right book, or books: "We each have one life, one share of action and vision and money; a single life for all our speech and thought, our decent gestures and the decisions that might undo us, our welcome or unwanted love, our parties that may or may not come off. One life to satisfy our vast and human sense of voyaging.
"With the right books we find out what imaginary strangers have done with their share of this amazing thing, life."
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said Professor Walker's win reflected the dedication and passion she demonstrated as one of the University's creative writing teachers and practitioners, as well as the strength of the arts within the University and within the Western Australian community.
Taking out the top honours for fiction in the awards was Victorian crime writer Peter Temple for his novel Truth.
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716