2019 - Shortlisted
Tracy Sorenson’s novel, The Lucky Galah, is an intriguing, original story – narrated by a galah. Lucky, the pet galah, knows all the secrets - and more - of the remote Western Australian town where she lives. It is 1969 and the town is building a relay radio Dish for the first moon landing, but Lucky also receives messages from the Dish - in between reading and tearing up her own copy of Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country. She also observes the townspeople, including the newcomers, radar technician, Evan, and his pretty wife, Linda, inter-weaving the characters and stories of small town life with the international event about to take place.
With a remarkably deft humorous touch, Sorenson has created a quirky, engaging narrator, a fascinating array of characters and an absorbing, original story. The humour is understated and wry – we are given a comic world underpinned by the absurd, but always grounded in a finely detailed, recognisable world. It is a warmly human, fully realised and elegantly comic novel, funny, wise and thoroughly enjoyable.