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Leaping into Waterfalls

2022 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments 

Bernadette Brennan’s account of the life of novelist Gillian Mears is a complex and highly ethical work of life-writing. Brennan traces the growth of Mears as a writer, while mapping the rich cultural milieu in which she matured. The result is a portrait of Mears among her literary peers, friends and most of all her family.  

A vast archive of letters, diaries, drafts and notebooks, along with Mears’ published works and Brennan’s interviews, provides the source material for Leaping into Waterfalls, and yet Brennan is never overwhelmed by her sources, providing a coherent and captivating account of an important writer and her work.