A sharp, funny, ‘white-hot burn’ of a novel has been awarded the 2018 Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing by Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML).
Laura Southgate wrote the winning book, The Boyfriend, as part of her 2018 Master of Arts (MA) at the IIML.
The Boyfriend tells the story of Erica, a student whose life is turned inside out by a relationship with a much older man. Comic and devastating by turn, it applies a scalpel to ideas of romantic love, social mores, and the question of coming of age.
Laura says, “It’s been a wonderful privilege to spend this year at the IIML in such inspiring company and under the expert mentorship of senior lecturer Emily Perkins. My folio was definitely a group effort and I owe a huge debt to Emily and my classmates for their critique, encouragement, and support. I’m very grateful to the examiners for this honour and of course to the Adam Foundation for their remarkable generosity.”
Wellington-born Laura works as a technical writer and is a co-editor of the newly launched 2018 edition of online literary journal Turbine | Kapohau.
Supported by Wellingtonians Verna Adam and the late Denis Adam through the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation, the $3,000 Adam Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding student in the MA in Creative Writing programme.
Emily Perkins says it has been a privilege to read the novel as it has developed over the course of the year.
“This is a scalp-prickling dazzler of a novel, fizzing with quotable lines and remarkable characters—an astute comedy of manners combined with wrenching events that charts a new path through one of humanity’s oldest stories. Laura is an enormously exciting new writer.”
Acclaimed author Tracey Slaughter and Adam Foundation Prize examiner says, ‘Edgy, original, cutting, brave… The Boyfriend announces the arrival of a hard-eyed author with something crucial to say and all the high-impact talent to say it.’
Previous Adam Foundation Prize recipients include authors Eleanor Catton, Catherine Chidgey, Ashleigh Young, Hera Lindsay Bird and Annaleese Jochems.
Victoria University of Wellington: Capital thinking. Globally minded.