Translation Rights  |  Sep 4, 2017

Jane Harper’s debut The Dry wins Ned Kelly Award

Jane Harper’s The Dry has won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. The Ned Kelly Awards - Australia's oldest and most prestigious prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing - were announced on Friday night in Melbourne, and are run by the Australian Crime Writers Association.

The novel is a story of desperation, resolution and small-town prejudices, played out against the extremes of life on the land. Amid the most terrible drought to ravage Australia in a century, farmer Luke Hadler is driven to kill his family and himself. As questions arise and suspicion casts a long shadow over the parched town, specialist investigator Aaron Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds begin bleeding into fresh ones.

On receiving the award, Harper said: "I'm very grateful to the judges for recognising the novel in this way and it's truly an honour to follow in the footsteps of so many wonderful authors who have won this prize in the past. I have followed the Ned Kelly Awards for many years and thoroughly enjoyed books by previous winners, so for The Dry to now be named among them is very special."

The judges meanwhile commented: "Reminiscent of Wake in Fright's claustrophobic atmosphere, this terrific portrayal of a country town filled with drought, secrets and long held grudges is deftly plotted, pacey and compulsively readable."

The Dry
was also named General Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards 2017. Rights have been sold to over twenty territories, and film rights have been optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s production company Pacific Standard.