Congratulations to Paul D. Carter, winner of the Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award 2012
When Paul D. Carter got up to accept the Vogel award last night he was an unknown quantity. After he spoke for a few minutes thanking those behind the award and giving the audience a brief description of himself and the writing process all those present couldn’t wait to get their hands on the novel. He was self-effacing, genuine and serious about his writing.
This year the judges had 350 or so entries to read between them and each judge, when their time came to read Eleven Seasons jotted down in the margin, something like – this could be our winner. But in the final stages of the competition there was no doubt. In the minds of all the judges Eleven Seasons was the clear winner.
I can’t wait to read it.
‘Some guys are good at school and telling jokes or they have the latest stuff. Others are cricketers and basketball players: they can do things with the ball that make their classmates talk about them when they’re not around. His thing is football. He becomes the centre of whichever team he plays for: he becomes the advantage.’
MELBOURNE, 1985. Jason Dalton sits on his bed and counts his football cards, dreaming of the day he too is immortalised in the public eye. He’s young and gifted, a natural player who can do anything with the ball in his hand. If only everything else in his life was as obvious to him as playing.
GOLD COAST, 1991. The bottom has fallen out of Jason’s life; he’s now a high-school dropout, tired and wasted on the Gold Coast, with an explosive family secret still ringing in his ears. He needs to get his life back. But first he needs to find out who he is.
‘A smashing book: heartfelt, tough-minded, occasionally shocking.’ Geordie Williamson
Paul D. Carter was born in Melbourne and spent much of his youth going to Collingwood Football matches with his Dad and brother, Marcus. In 2001, Paul completed a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Deakin University and, in 2008 completed a PhD while writing Eleven Seasons. In writing Eleven Seasons, Paul was able to integrate his own experience of growing up in Melbourne in the 1980s with his keen interest in modern Australian history. He is especially interested in the sociological aspects of AFL and sport in society, in particular its sometimes fraught relationship with women. Paul currently teaches English and Creative Writing to secondary students in the western suburbs, as part of the Teach for Australia Programme.
From the Australian: IT took more than nine years for Melbourne author Paul D. Carter to write Eleven Seasons, published today as the winner of The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.
The coming-of-age story is about Melbourne schoolboy Jason Dalton, whose youth is filled with skateboards, spraypaint and an obsession with the Hawthorn Hawks.
Carter said the book was less a novel about Australian football than a story about family, relationships and young men finding their identity. “It’s about what happens when those identities shatter and you have to come to terms with who you are,” he said in Sydney yesterday. Read more…
From The Sydney Morning Herald: ONE of the first things Paul D. Carter will do today is wander into a bookshop and look at copies of Eleven Seasons on the shelves. It’s his first novel so it’s special. But it’s more than that, as last night in Sydney Carter won this year’s Vogel Award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under 35, the prize that galvanised the careers of Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Gillian Mears and Andrew McGahan.
He was told in September that he had won and has since worked secretively with his publisher to ensure the book was ready for the shops today. Now – at last – he can talk about it.
It is a very Melbourne book with Aussie rules playing a crucial role in the life of Jason Dalton, a boy from a broken home in the mid-1980s. ”It’s a story about the ways young men as they’re growing up reach outside themselves to artificial ideas of who they are,” Carter says. ”Football is one of the things that he uses as a template of who he can be.” Read more…
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French, Korean and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for over twenty-five years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au.