My friend Rachel Robertson has been shortlisted for the 2013 national biography award, for her beautiful memoir about her relationship with her autistic son, Reaching One Thousand. This a major award, with a first prize of $25,000, and $1,000 for the shortlisted. here is the blurb from the National Biography site:
Reaching One Thousand
Rachel Robertson (Black Inc)
When Ben is a baby, Rachel puts his behavioural quirks down to eccentricity. He likes to count letterboxes; he hates to get his hands dirty; loud noises make him anxious.
But as Ben grows and his quirks become more pronounced, it becomes clear there is something else going on. When he is diagnosed with autism, Rachel must reconsider everything she thought she knew about parenting, about Ben, and about how best to mother him. Reaching One Thousand charts her quest to understand autism and to build a new kind of relationship with her son.
About the author
Rachel Robertson lectures in professional writing and publishing at Curtin University. Her fiction and essays have been published in The Best Australian Essays, Australian Book Review, Griffith Review and Island. Her essay ‘Reaching One Thousand’ was joint winner of the 2008 Calibre Prize.
I do hope Rachel wins; it would be well deserved. Here is a snatch from the review of her book I wrote in an earlier post:
This is a very beautiful story, but it is also funny, touching and thought-provoking. It raises a thousand questions about the self, the way the mind and emotions work, and about how we relate to each other.
If you haven’t yet read Reaching One Thousand, and you like memoir that makes you think about life, love, and what it all means, this is one out of the box.