2021 - Shortlisted
In her debut novel Metal Fish, Falling Sky, Cath Moore delicately weaves magic realism into Dylan Freeman’s 14-year-old world, bringing us a sometimes beautiful, sometimes aching insight into the grief of losing a mother and, with that, the world. In her place is the Guyanese dad Dylan has only known through skin too dark to scrape off and a name she couldn’t change.
Moore’s poetic lyricism explores central questions of inheritance and legacy in an original and thought-provoking way, pulling at the threads of where mixed race identity lives within our understanding of ‘multicultural Australia’. The novel fearlessly engages with internalised racism, identity and what Blackness means in this place, while maintaining a tenderness that gives due credit to its young protagonist and feels fresh, yet familiar.