2022 - Winner
The Winter Road grapples with the 2014 murder of an environmental officer named Glen Turner by an elderly farmer late one night near Moree. In this assured and accomplished book, Kate Holden’s reporting of the circumstances of this crime and its aftermath roams far beyond the standard journalistic range, into colonial and legal history.
Holden animates multiple perspectives on questions of land, property and law in a manner that is surprising, compelling and timely.
This is a virtuosic work of narrative non-fiction, a book that makes space for the complexity, contradictions and ugliness of the settlement of Australia. Holden’s deeply-researched book leaves the clichés of the bush behind to produce a multi-faceted, account of life in regional Australia. And at a time when regional Australia is much discussed and little-understood, The Winter Road makes a vital contribution to the public sphere.