Carrie Tiffany wins the inaugural Stella Prize for women writers.

by |April 17, 2013

Carrie Tiffany, author of the acclaimed Mateship With Birds, has been awarded the inaugural Stella Prize for women writers.

Named after one of Australia’s most important female authors, Stella Maria Miles Franklin, the Stella Prize is worth $50,000, and both fiction and non-fiction books are eligible.

The Melbourne based writer said after her win she would share part of her prizemoney with the five other shortlisted writers.

The Stella Prize was established to raise the profile of women authors.

“I don’t write particularly for women, I don’t write for any particular reader in mind,” Tiffany said.  “I write for myself, I think.”

But she welcomed the co-operative spirit of the Stella Prize, saying that women writers were supportive of each other.

She will share $10,000 of her prizemoney with Courtney Collins (The Burial), Michelle de Kretser (Questions of Travel), Lisa Jacobson (The Sunlit Zone), Cate Kennedy (Like a House on Fire) and Margo Lanagan (Sea Hearts).

Judging panel chairwoman Kerryn Goldsworthy said Tiffany had told an “original, tender, frank and funny version of the oldest story in the world: how a man and a woman get together.”

You can see our complete wrap of all the authors longlisted for The Stella Prize here.

You can also see our exclusive interview with Carrie Tiffany here.

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Mateship With Birds

by Carrie Tiffany

On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.

Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life – to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.

About The Author

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in the Red Centre and now lives in Melbourne, where she works as an agricultural journalist. Her first novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living (2005) was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, and won the Dobbie Award for Best First Book (2006) and the 2006 Western Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction. Mateship with Birds is her second novel.

Click here to buy Mateship With Birds from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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