Amanda Lohrey has won the 2021 Voss Literary Prize for her novel The Labyrinth (Text).
Lohrey, whose book was chosen from a shortlist of five, receives $5000.
This year’s judges Elaine Lindsay, Christian Bok, Rosalind Smith, Anthony Uhlmann and Ann Vickery said The Labyrinth is ‘a cool, elegant novel that explores the consolations and mystery of art—in this instance, through the immersion of self in the act of doing’.
‘Lohrey doesn’t encourage her readers to identify personally with her characters, or to embroil themselves in the intricacies of plot. Rather, we are to sit with her protagonist, Erica, and allow her story to quietly burrow into our hearts and souls. We are invited to attend to the planning and building of Erica’s labyrinth but not to anticipate or overthink … It is this quality of quietness, drawing us into a silent meditation on the nature of creativity, that sets The Labyrinthapart from other novels that boast more seductive characters, more glittering wordplay, more urgent political messages.
‘The Labyrinth suggests ways in which we might come together, find strength in community and nature, and psychological and spiritual healing. The labyrinth itself remains a work in progress—there is no closure but there is hope.’
Established in 2014, the Voss Literary Prize is dedicated to the memory of historian Vivian Robert Le Vaux Voss and managed by the Australian University Heads of English, the peak body for the study of English at Australian universities.
The winner of the 2020 prize was Tara June Winch for The Yield (Penguin). For more information, visit the Voss Literary Prize website.