Alexis Wright’s “majestic biography” wins Stella Prize

Alexis Wright is the winner of the 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker her collective biography of the charismatic Aboriginal leader, political thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth.

Stella

The judges called Tracker “an extraordinary, majestic book”. One man’s story told in many voices, they commented “Wright has crafted an epic that is a very rewarding read”.

Tracker by Alexis Wright

An Arrente man and a member of the stolen generation, Tilmouth, was taken from his family as a child and brought up in a mission on Croker Island. Called an Aboriginal visionary, Tracker worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council of the Northern Territory.

Alexis Wright’s story is written as consensus storytelling, a style inspired by collective decision making in aboriginal communities.  She compiled the book over six years brilliantly interspersing interviews, anecdotes and testimonies from Tilmouth and more than 50 people who knew him. Tracker is described as “almost operatic in scale, with a tight narrative structure and compelling real-life characters”.

Visit the Stella Prize website for all the nominated titles.

From: The Guardian 13 April 2018 by Stephanie Convery cited in Press Reader a State Library of Queensland database, 13 April, 2018.