Pericic takes Vogel award
Perth-born Melbourne writer Marija Pericic has won the 2017 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award with her debut novel The Lost Pages, an inspired fictional memoir of Czech writer, Max Brod. The award was presented in Sydney last week by writer Benjamin Law.
It is 1908 and Max Brod is the rising star of Prague’s literary world. Everything he desires — fame, respect, love — is finally within his reach. But when a rival appears on the scene, Max discovers how quickly he can lose everything he has worked so hard to attain. He knows newcomer, Franz Kafka, has the power to eclipse him for good, and must decide what lengths he will go to hold onto his success.
The Lost Pages is a richly imagined story of the friendship, fraud, jealously and betrayal within an extraordinary literary rivalry. As one judge noted, “the author really understands how tension works. It never lets up. From the very beginning, the strain between Kafka and Brod is hugely entertaining. Brod is antisocial and prefers his own company, just like the best of Kafka’s characters. He is drawn with remarkable clarity.”
This year’s judges were Stephen Romei (literary editor, The Australian), Rohan Wilson (award-winning author of The Roving Party and To Name Those Lost) and Jenny Barry (bookseller from BooksPlus, Bathurst). The Lost Pages was the judges’ clear choice to win.
The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is Australia’s oldest, richest and most prestigious prize for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under 35. In addition to the $20,000 prize, the winner is guaranteed an advance against royalties for publication with Allen &
Unwin. The award has launched the careers of some of Australia’s most successful writers, including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, the late Gillian Mears, Mandy Sayer, Andrew McGahan and judge Wilson.
Established in 1980, the Vogel changes young writers’ lives. Between them, many have gone on to win or be short-listed for other major awards, such as the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Man Booker Prize and numerous premiers’ literary awards.
The Lost Pages (Allen & Unwin, $30) is out on May 27.
Marija Pericic won the Vogel with her novel The Lost Pages.