Double-barelled Calibre winners
Subscribers to Australian Book Review would have opened the magazine to find that the Calibre Prize was awarded to two outstanding essays.
Dr David Hansen’s “Seeing Truganini” looks into the European silent generation who witnessed the last public display of the remains of the ‘last Australian Aborigine’. Hansen looks says Australians find themselves “not in embarrassed silence, but in the equally regrettable white noise of pious post-colonial cant.” As a curator of Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hansen’s piece balances personal insight with gutsy writing in an essay written specifically for the prize.
“On Being Odd” is Lorna Hallahan’s look at the marginalisation of those who look different and their stigmatisation in literature and society. She sends a salute “to Aristotle: ‘Happiness is born in connection to others, not just in beauty’”. Hallahan draws on her background as a theologian and social worker to put forward a compelling argument in favour of the stigmatised.