22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Tara June Winch

Portrait Tara June Winch
© Ali Ghandtschi

Tara June Winch was born in Wollongong, Australia, in 1983. Her father is a member of the Wiradjuri nation in New South Wales.

In 2004 she was awarded the David Unaipon Award for indigenous writers for a then unpublished version of her first novel »Swallow the Air« (2006). The novel follows the story of siblings Billy and May as they cope with the sudden death of their mother. The search for his place in life takes Billy down a destructive path. May, on the other hand, searches for her father and her Aboriginal identity and ultimately, through her encounters with other people, learns what it means to belong. The 2016 anniversary edition of her debut has now become required reading for schoolchildren in Australia. As a participant of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative (a mentoring program for young talents from various artistic fields), Winch was supervised by the Nigerian writer and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Wole Soyinka in 2008. Her collection of short stories »After the Carnage« (2016) that span the globe from New York to Istanbul, from Pakistan to Australia, was well received by critics. The stories deal with a multitude of universal issues such as closeness and distance to loved ones, once cherished dreams, and lost homelands. Characters include a single mother who takes extreme measures to protect her young son, a Nigerian student, who is hoping to do an internship with the United Nations in the hope of a better future, and a newly divorced man who starts a running group with members of an online forum for addicts. Her latest novel »The Yield« (2019) focuses on the Gondiwindi family, members of the Wiradjuri nation. To preserve the language of his people, Albert »Poppy« Gondiwindi writes a dictionary shortly before his death. When his granddaughter August, who has lived in Europe for ten years, returns to Australia for the funeral, she finds that her family’s home is in danger of being destroyed by a powerful mining company. Led by her grandfather’s voice, August vows to save her country – a project that will take her back to the past and the history of her people. The novel won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the People’s Choice Award at the Australian NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was voted Book of the Year 2020.

Winch also wrote the screenplay for the documentary »Carriberrie«, which is dedicated to the diversity of indigenous dance and singing in Australia and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Tara June Winch lives in France.



Watch the Tara June Winch’s performance at the 20th ilb on our YouTube-Channel: https://youtu.be/N_YpQf58Mc8