” . . . .
Philippines-born Bobis, who lives in Canberra, came to Australia as a student 25 years ago, taught creative writing at Wollongong University for 20 years, and is the author of novels, stories, poetry and radio dramas in English, Filipino and her native language, Bikol.
Locust Girl grew out of her concern for the people and nature in both her countries, which has led her to work with the International Water Project, leading a community in the Philippines to tell stories about the dying river that supplies their water.
“We think there is a border between us and the non-human world,” she says. “We think of water only as a resource, but we’re looking at how to teach people to care for water, and how to help students reimagine water.”
Thinking about climate change, poverty, terrorism, globalisation, she says, “I wondered how I could write about all this and make a big issue come alive in a small story, so that even a child could understand.”
. . . . .
The State Library of New South Wales is a large reference and research library open to the public. It is the oldest library in Australia, being the first library established in New South Wales.
Following is a write-up by the State Library about the Christina Stead Prize:
About the Prize
The Christina Stead Prize ($40,000) is offered for a book of fiction.
The award may be made for a novel or a collection of stories.
A collection of stories may contain some previously published work. In such a case the judges will determine whether the new work is sufficient, in quantity and quality, to merit an award. It is the nominator’s responsibility to clearly identify previously published material.
Works of creative non-fiction, including fictionalised memoirs, are eligible for consideration under this category, but not under the Douglas Stewart Prize. Works of multiple authorship, including anthologies, are not eligible for nomination.
About Christina Stead
The award commemorates Christina Ellen Stead (1902-1983), Australian novelist and short-story writer. Stead was born in Rockdale, New South Wales. She published fifteen novels beginning with The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934). Her most well-known novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940) was based on her childhood in Sydney. Stead lived most of her life overseas, in Europe and the U.S., but retained a strong sense of national identity, reviewing Australian novels for the New York Times Book Review and keeping up with news from Australia through family correspondence. Her work, including several volumes of short stories, is acclaimed for her satirical wit. Stead’s literary popularity in Australia increased significantly after her return in 1974. The same year she received the inaugural Patrick White Literary Award to recognise her lifetime achievement.