Emily Bitto wins 2022 Roderick Literary Award with Wild Abandon

3 November 2022

Melbourne based Australian author Emily Bitto has been named winner of the 2022 Roderick Literary Award, with her 2021 novel Wild Abandon.

Two hundred and thirty entries — a record number — were received for the 2022 award. All were of a high standard, which made selecting a shortlist, let alone a winner, difficult, according to Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, who headed up the judging panel.

A lot of very good books just didn’t make the shortlist. But in the end Emily Bitto’s extremely well-crafted account of a young Australian man’s ‘escape’ to New York and then into the US heartlands after the breakdown of his first serious relationship — a coming of age and into self-knowledge story set against a richly symbolic and allusive account of the decline of civilisations — won the prize.


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