Goldie Goldbloom’s novel Gwen has been shortlisted for the Most Underrated Book Award 2018 by the Small Press Network.
The Most Underrated Book Award was established by the Small Press Network in 2012 and aims to highlight the hidden gems of Australian independent publishing. The award is once again sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association.
Gwen is the story of Gwendolen Mary John, a real-life painter and the sister of artist Augustus John, who makes a pilgrimage from London to France with her companion Dorelia.
Goldie said of the nomination, ‘As a painter, Gwen John was always underrated. Actually, if she was going to win an award, it seems awfully fitting that it’s the most underrated. Karmic even. But of course, I’m delighted! And I think Gwen would be quietly chuffed too.’
Gwen joins Living in Hope by Frank Byrne with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford, and Plane Tree Drive by Lynette Washington on the three-book shortlist.
Judges Sarah L’Estrange, Megan O’Brien and Toni Jordan said they found the wide spread of geographic locations in the submissions ‘refreshing’ and said that the shortlisted books distinctively addressed their subjects. Despite vast differences in styles and genre, the judges said they all shared a ‘clarity of purpose and artistic flair’.
The award will be announced by the Small Press Network co-founder Louise Swinn on the evening of Thursday 22 November during the Small Press Network’s Independent Publishing Conference. This is a free event and tickets will be available online in due course.