Molly Schmidt’s debut novel makes it onto the Indie Book Awards longlist

Salt River Road by Molly Schmidt is one of ten Australian debut novels in the running for a 2024 Indie Book Award.

Presented by Leading Edge Books, the Indie Book Awards celebrate the depth and range of literary talent in this nation. They recognise the best Australian writing as chosen by Australian independent booksellers.

In response to her accolade, Molly Schmidt said, ‘This longlisting is such an honour because it shows that booksellers have enjoyed meeting Rose and Frank Tetley of Salt River Road so much that they want to advocate other readers meeting these siblings and their world. I’m very appreciative of the work booksellers do, and most grateful for their support!’

While writing Salt River Road, Molly received support from Curtin University’s Dr Brett D’Arcy, and worked closely with Noongar writer Kim Scott and the elders of the Menang Goreng people to create an inclusive work of literature. Fremantle Press publisher Georgia Richter said the book, which won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award in 2022, is a compelling coming-of-age novel about grief and healing through human connection. ‘We’re proud to be the publisher of a book that actively seeks to find new avenues for collaboration and reconciliation by using the power of storytelling to demonstrate the strength and resilience of our community. It’s exactly the kind of book we need right now, and one that we know will stand the test of time.’

Shortlists will be announced on 17 January 2024, with the category winners and the overall Book of the Year winner to be announced at a virtual event on 25 March.

The other books in the debut fiction longlist were: The Collected Regrets of Clover (Mikki Brammer, Penguin), Fed to Red Birds (Rijn Collins, S&S), The House of Now and Then (Jo Dixon, HQ Fiction), Green Dot (Madeleine Gray, A&U), The Visitors (Jane Harrison, Fourth Estate), Duck à l’Orange for Breakfast (Karina May, Macmillan), Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder (Kerryn Mayne, Bantam), At the Foot of the Cherry Tree (Alli Parker, HarperCollins) and The Things That Matter Most (Gabbie Stroud, A&U).

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