Evie WYLD wins the 2009 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize
SOUTH LONDON bookseller Evie Wyld has won the 2009 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize with her début novel, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (Jonathan Cape, 2009). The chair of the judges, novelist Louise Doughty, praised Wyld’s command of language and her deft description. “It didn’t feel like it was a first-time author sticking to safe, autobiographical material.” Set mostly on the coast of Queensland, the novel explores failures of communication across three generations of Australian men. The shadows of domestic violence, the Korean war and Vietnam loom large in a taut story which Doughty described as “fantastically mature … never showy, a slow burn that drags the reader in.” It was the only novel in a strong shortlist that included Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assassinations (stories), Emma Jones’s The Striped World (poetry), James Maskalyk’s Six Months in Sudan (nonfiction), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck (stories) and Tristram Stuart’s Waste (nonfiction).