Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Stella Prize for Australian women’s writing. Carrie Tiffany receives $50,000 in prize money for her achievement.
Kerryn Goldsworthy, chair of the Stella Prize judges, said, “Mateship with Birds is a deceptively gentle-looking novel whose calm surface belies its many sharp and frank observations about the world. Set in country Victoria in the 1950s, it follows the fortunes of two people whose loneliness is offset by the many active strands of their daily lives: Harry, a farmer whose wife has left him for somebody else; and Betty, an aged-care nurse whose two children have no visible father.
“Tiffany uses the two main characters’ interactions with each other and with a small supporting cast to show the intricate interrelations not only between people, but also between human life and the natural world. There’s complex interdependence among species, and human behaviour is reflected in even the smallest, most attentively observed details of the lives of animals and birds.”