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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Exploring ideas and imagination

“My role as a novelist is to explore ideas and imagination, and hopefully that will inspire people from my world to continue dreaming and to believe in dreams.” – Alexis Wright

An indigenous Australian, Wright was born on this date in 1950, grew up in Queensland, and broke onto the writing scene in the 1990s, making an immediate splash with her novel Plains of Promise, published in 1997, nominated for several literary awards, and on the market in numerous editions.    But it was her novel Carpentaria that earned her the biggest accolades.   Despite being rejected multiple times, it finally was picked up by an independent publisher and achieved Australia’s highest honor, the Miles Franklin Award.  
                                             This year, her biography Tracker, a tribute to economist Tracker Tilmouth, won the prestigious Stella Prize, Australia’s richest award for the leading female writer in all genres.  The book also earned the Margery Medal – the leading award for nonfiction – and a Queensland Literary Award.  Wright is currently a member of the Australian Research Council research project on literary forms, her theme focusing on forms of Aboriginal oral storytelling.  

Despite her ongoing success, she said she feels she hasn’t changed as a person or how she interacts with people around her.  “No matter what happens to you,” she said,  “you can maintain your own control about what you believe and who you are.”

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