An astonishing debut, Traitor is a story of war and friendship: it tells of two men thrown together by war in the battle-smoke and chaos of Gallipoli—a young New Zealand soldier and a Turkish doctor.
Stephen Daisley, who served in the NZ army, took a stone from the site of the fighting at Gallipoli to this morning’s ceremony for good luck. On learning that Arts Minister Simon Crean had never visited Gallipoli, Stephen gave the minister the stone to keep.
The judges of the PM’s Literary Awards praised Stephen’s treatment of the ANZAC legend as ‘intrepidly original’ and continued: ‘it is timely, challenging and calm in the sympathy that it extends towards the Islamic faith…Traitor is brilliant, poignant and provoking. Its tactile, redolent evocation of the physical world of sheep-farming in New Zealand and of warfare at Gallipoli—while this recalls material in many Australian novels—is also utterly distinctive.’