The renowned Australian author Gail Jones has been named as the 2022 Hedberg Writer in Residence by the University of Tasmania.
The Hedberg Writer in Residence is decided through a nationally competitive application process open to all established Australian writers. As the recipient, Jones will develop a major new work, deliver classes to writing students from the University and conduct a workshop for emerging authors.
The $30,000 residency is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania.
Jones is the author of eight novels and two books of short stories. Her work has been published internationally, translated into around 15 languages and is taught in Europe, the UK, Canada, Japan, the United States, Argentina and China.
Jones said she was delighted to receive the residency and is keen to connect with the writing community in Tasmania.
“The writing community in Tasmania seems to me to be in a stage of unusual expansiveness and vitality,” she said.
“I have taught and examined literature from this region and look forward to better understanding the particularity and energy of writing in Tasmania. As someone originally from WA, I’m interested in ‘regionalism’ and ‘localism’ even as it is expressed in global writing.”
The coordinator of the Hedberg Writer in Residence program and Head of English and Writing at the University, Dr Robert Clarke, said the university was delighted to have awarded the residency to a writer of Jones’ calibre.
“Gail Jones is one of Australia’s most esteemed and awarded writers of literary fiction and a highly respected teacher of creative writing, well known for her generosity in mentoring young and emerging writers,” Dr Clarke said.
“Her proposal for the residency is exciting and innovative. The selection committee members were unanimous in their praise for her application, which was one of a large field of a very high quality.”
Jones is the author of Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams of Speaking, Sorry, Five Bells, A Guide to Berlin, The Death of Noah Glass and Our Shadows. A new novel, Salonika Burning, will be published in 2022. Her awards include The Age Book of the Year, the Adelaide Festival Prize for Fiction, the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction, the ASAL Gold Medal, the Nita Kibble and the Colin Roderick Prize. Her work has been longlisted for the Booker and Orange prizes (UK) and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin (four times), the IMPAC (Dublin) and the Prix Femina Etranger (France).
The three-month residency will be taken between January 1 and July 31, 2022.