Signs and Wonders by Delia Falconer wins 2022 Nib Literary award
16 November 2022
Building on Falconer’s two acclaimed essays, ‘Signs and Wonders’ and the Walkley Award-winning ‘The Opposite of Glamour’, Signs and Wonders is a pioneering examination of how we are changing our culture, language and imaginations along with our climate. Is a mammoth emerging from the permafrost beautiful or terrifying? How is our imagination affected when something that used to be ordinary — like a car windscreen smeared with insects — becomes unimaginable? What can the disappearance of the paragraph from much contemporary writing tell us about what’s happening in the modern mind?
Scientists write about a ‘great acceleration’ in human impact on the natural world. Signs and Wonders shows that we are also in a period of profound cultural acceleration, which is just as dynamic, strange, extreme and, sometimes, beautiful. Ranging from an ‘unnatural’ history of coal to the effect of a large fur seal turning up in the park below her apartment, this book is a searching and poetic examination of the ways we are thinking about how, and why, to live now.
The literary prize, often referred to as the Nib Award, was established in 2002, and principal sponsors are presently Mark and Evette Moran. The award recognises excellence in literary research, and is open to Australian works of any genre, fiction or non-fiction.