by Quentin Beresford
WINNER - Tasmania Book Prize 2015
The story of Australia's most controversial foresty giant, the corruption that gave it power, the environmental activists who fought it and the forces that brought it down.
What the judges said about the book:
All the books shortlisted for the Tasmania Book Prize deal with the continuing impact of the past on the present. This is not surprising, as Tasmania is a place with a dark history, and dealing with the weight of it empowers much Tasmanian writing. As William Faulkner once said of the American South, 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'
The prospect of negotiating a better future out of the past is the subtext for all three books shortlisted for the Tasmania Book Prize. The judges singled out The Rise and Fall of Gunns Ltd as the winner because of its brave and non-partisan approach to an issue that for many Tasmanians is still raw, but nevertheless, is important and needs to be told. The Rise and Fall of Gunns Ltd tells a difficult and painful story that has had an impact on all aspects of Tasmanian politics and society. But good literature should raise uncomfortable questions. Nobody comes out of this meticulously researched history of the long-standing environmental wars looking good, but this is not a book about apportioning blame. It is an invitation for all of us to accept responsibility for the future.