Donna Mazza, author and Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at ECU’s South West Campus has been named the joint winner of the 2015 Patricia Hackett Prize for her short story ‘The Exhibit’.
The Patricia Hackett Prize recognises the best contribution to Westerly Magazine in the volumes for that year. Dr Mazza describes The Exhibit as “a speculative fiction story about the future potential of reproductive technology and raises questions about the relationship between science and life.”
Told from the point of view of a mother undergoing a series of ultrasounds, The Exhibit explores the potential of Palaeogenetics to attempt de-extinction of Neanderthals in the future and what this would mean for the individuals involved.
“Speculative fiction is often considered ‘genre fiction’ and spurned by traditional literary publications, so I am delighted that Westerly have chosen to reward this story, which is so unconventional. It is important that contemporary writers explore the strange places humanity is heading to help us negotiate ways of thinking about the future.” said Dr Mazza.
The Patricia Hackett Prize has been awarded annually since 1965 with a prestigious list of previous winners, including Kim Scott, Bruce Dawe, Marcella Polain, Terri-ann White, Peter Porter, Joan London, Simone Lazaroo and Marion Halligan. The Exhibit is available to read online at Westerly Magazine.