Favel Parrett wins the Dobbie Literary Award

14 August 2012 Naomi Gall

Fiction writer Favel Parrett insists she never knows the storyline of her novels before she begins to write, commenting, ‘I rarely know the full plot until I get to the very end of my writing process.’ Her debut novel, Past the Shallows, has been well received, selling up to 10, 000 copies in Australia, prompting The Australian to cite this debut novel as ‘Clearly the work of a talented new novelist.’

Parrett recently received the $5, 000 Dobbie Literary Award for Past the Shallows. Established in 1994 through the bequest of Australian librarian Ms Nita May Dobbie, the Award seeks to give female writers a more prominent voice. Chair of the judging committee Professor Robert Dixon of the University of Sydney remarked that Parrett’s novel is ‘a superbly written, raw and realistic story. She successfully paints a moving account of the emotions that exist in a Tasmanian fishing family.’

Starting the writing process from character and place, Parrett builds upon these two solid foundations as the plot begins to take shape through the characters. Past the Shallows is a hauntingly beautiful story of the bond of brotherhood and the fragility of youth. Told with an elegant simplicity, this is the story of two brothers growing up in a fractured family on the wild Tasmanian coast. The consequences of their parents’ choices shape their lives and ultimately bring tragedy to them all.

Parrett was a recipient of the Literature Board Book2 New Work Creative Development Grant and is currently researching her second book which will see the author travel from Hobart to Macquarie Island by boat.

Image Credit: courtesy of Hachette