Each weekday between now and the announcement of the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist on March 10, we’ll be turning the Stella spotlight on a different longlisted author and their book. Today is day 10, and our featured book is…

Anchor Point by Alice Robinson


What the Stella Prize judges said:
Anchor Point is a novel about survival, friendship and family. Laura is just ten years old when her mother disappears and her life becomes complicated and serious. She takes on adult tasks and responsibilities, including caring for her younger sister and helping her father with his struggle to maintain their farm.

Anchor Point is a vehicle for Alice Robinson’s concerns about climate change and the world our children will inherit. Droughts and bushfires are metaphors for the loneliness, confusion and grief that lie in relationships that have gone awry, but there is also a visible love and respect for the Australian landscape in all its changes and this novel contains remarkably observant landscape writing. Robinson’s voice is assured, her prose is crisp and poetic, and the story is executed with care and a light touch.

The blurb:
When her mother disappears into the bush, ten-year-old Laura makes an impulsive decision that will haunt her for decades. Despite her anger and grief, she sets about running the house, taking care of her younger sister, and helping her father clear their wild acreage to carve out a farm.

But gradually they realise that while they may own the land, they cannot tame it – nor can they escape their past. Anchor Point is an eloquent and arresting Australian novel no reader will easily forget.

About the author:

Alice Robinson

Alice Robinson is a lecturer in creative writing at Melbourne’s NMIT. She has a PhD in creative writing from Victoria University and her work has been published widely. Anchor Point is Alice’s first novel.

What the critics said:

Anchor Point is a promising debut novel because of the quality of its young author’s writing. Alice Robinson is a local creative writing teacher, and her writing is lyrical and seamless.’ Annie Condon, Readings

‘Alice Robinson’s writing is gritty, poetic and moving… a rare talent for compelling storytelling that explores the pressing issues of our time.’ Fiona Capp, Arts Review

Further reading:

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2016 LonglistAlice RobinsonAnchor PointThe Stella Prize