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The Spare Room wins the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction

The winners of the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were announced at a function at Federation Square in Melbourne last night. From a shortlist of three in the fiction category, Helen Garner emerged the winner of the $30,000 prize.

In 2006, Garner won the Melbourne Prize for Literature—at the time Australia’s most valuable literary award—in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australian literature and to cultural and intellectual life. Helen has previously won South Australian and NSW Premier’s Awards, A Walkley Award, a Ned Kelly and the Nita B. Kibble Literary Award, but as a native Victorian, Helen is very pleased to add a Vance Palmer to her trophy cabinet.

Text congratulates Helen on this wonderful achievement, and on The Spare Room, a truly remarkable novel.

‘A perfect novel’. Peter Carey

‘Swift, beautiful, and relentless.’ Alice Sebold

‘By the last page you feel not just that you have read a magnificent novel but that you have experienced life itself.’ The Times

‘A piece of fiction at once artful, gripping and fiercely beautiful.‘ Observer