Farr shortlisted for a third award

Soon to be broadcast on Radio NZ, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Fremantle Press author Tracy Farr has been shortlisted for the 2014 Barbara Jefferis Award. This comes hot on the heels of the book being shortlisted for a Western Australian Book Award and longlisted for a Miles Franklin.

Awarded from the Barbara Jefferis Literary Fund and coordinated by the Australian Society of Authors, the Barbara Jefferis Award is valued at $55,000 and is given to novels by Australian authors that portray women in an empowering light.

‘Feminism is and always has been fundamental to me: I’m a feminist, and I can’t imagine not writing from that place,’ said Farr.

Farr’s shortlisted novel follows the life of theremin musician Dame Lena Gaunt.

‘Lena Gaunt displays a strong sense of self, as a girl and as a woman,’ said Farr.

The 2014 judges are Margaret Barbalet, Georgia Blain and Dorothy Johnston. The winner of the Barbara Jefferis Award will be announced at an event in Sydney on Thursday 6 November.

Farr has also received a 2015 Varuna Second Book Fellowship for her current manuscript, ‘The Hope Fault’. The Varuna Second Book Fellowship, offered to writers who have published at least one novel, provides a two-week residency at Varuna, the National Writers House, for the further development of their manuscript.

‘The new manuscript has different texts and times running through it, like seams in a rock face, interconnecting and slipping between each other. My biggest challenge will be making sure the complex structure doesn’t overwhelm the story. This fellowship at Varuna gives me some time and space to work on getting that balance right,’ said Farr.

Farr was chosen for the Varuna fellowship from a pool of over 150 submissions that included poetry, short story, memoir and biography.

Radio NZ will be running a twelve-part reading of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr beginning on 29 October. Details will be posted on the Radio NZ webpage and will include an introduction from Tracy, pictures and links to other information. Each episode will be posted on the website the day it plays and will remain on the page for two weeks. Fans of Tracy Farr will be able to meet her in New Zealand when she discusses her novel The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt at Kilbirnie Library on Thursday 23 October. Tracy will present alongside fellow author Dame Fiona Kidman.

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt is available from all good bookstores and online.

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