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Scott wins Australia's top literary award

24 june 2011, 14:55
Indigenous author Kim Scott on Thursday won Australia's most significant literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award, for his second novel "That Deadman Dance", AFP reports.

Scott edged out two other shortlisted books, Roger McDonald's "When Colts Ran" and Chris Womersley's "Bereft".

It was the second time Scott has collected the Aus$50,000 ($53,000) top prize, having won a decade ago with "Benang", a novel about race and family in Western Australia.

The annual award is presented to the novel of the year which is of the highest literary merit and "presents Australian life in any of its phases".

"'That Deadman Dance' is an astonishingly original work by a writer who can imagine and project possibility where most of us can see only stark, adversarial conflict," said Morag Fraser on behalf of the judging panel.

"The novel is both realistic and visionary, an historical-lyrical recreation of early encounters between black and white on the south coast of Western Australia.

"(It) shifts our understanding of what an historical novel can do. It is a grand feat of transformative storytelling."

The book tells the story of encounters in the 1870s between the Noongar Aboriginal people in Western Australia, early settlers and visiting American whalers.

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