Noongar author Kim Scott has won both Book of the Year and the biennial Indigenous Writers’ Prize in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for his third novel Taboo.
Mr Scott also $40,000 in prize money for the book, which is set in country Western Australia.
The judges said the novel “is a powerfully mystical story where dead creatures spring to life out of campfires and wheat trucks, and where Aboriginal ancestors rustle and murmur as they are awakened by the acts of the living”.
They said: “As a portrait of one Aboriginal extended family, Taboo is an outstanding work of fiction.”
The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced on Tuesday night at the State Library of NSW, with a total of $295,000 offered across 12 prizes.
It is the third year in a row that Book of the Year has been awarded to a work by an Indigenous author — Leah Purcell won for The Drover’s Wife in 2017 and Bruce Pascoe for Dark Emu in 2016.
Mr Scott’s novel Taboo was published by Pan Macmillan Australia.