Leah Kaminsky, author, doctor, and 2013 alumna of the MFA in Writing program, has won the 2016 Voss Literary Prize for her debut novel The Waiting Room (Vintage).
The Voss Literary Prize is awarded to the best novel published in Australia in the previous year, and is managed by the Austrian University Heads of English, the peak body for the study of English at Australian universities.
The Waiting Room tells the story of Dina, the daughter of Holacaust survivors, who moves from Melbourne to Israel. It unfolds over the course of a single, life-changing day, but the story it tells spans five decades, three continents, and one family's compelling history of love, war, and survival.
Leah began work on the novel during her MFA program. In a note to new MFAW Director Melissa Hammerle, she wrote: "Needless to say, I am thrilled and grateful to my VCFA family, who helped me craft this book—especially the brilliant Clint McCown."
Kaminsky's novel was selected from a shortlist of six, which also included: Coming Rain (Stephen Daisley, Text), The Life of Houses (Lisa Gorton, Giramondo), A Guide to Berlin (Gail Jones, Vintage), The World Without Us (Mireille Juchau, Bloomsbury), and The Natural Way of Things (Charlotte Wood, A&U).
Photo credit: Nicola Bernardi