About the author

Enza Gandolfo

About the book

Judges' report

The Bridge is both the story of a tragedy in contemporary Melbourne and the chronicle of a disaster in our recent past, when part of the West Gate Bridge collapsed during construction, killing thirty-five people in what remains Australia’s worst industrial accident.

As well as exploring the way a life can be altered by one dramatic event, The Bridge is a sharp and moving portrayal of the strength and resilience that lives in people, and a fascinating look at the effects of gentrification.

The writing in this evocative, multi-generational novel is exquisite; the way in which Gandolfo takes us into moments of catastrophe, drawing characters so that they come to life, without over-dramatising, shows a novelist of the highest calibre.

This is a story with many layers that is deeply intellectual and unashamedly working-class, showing Footscray and Melbourne’s west in ways we’ve not seen before. Emotionally intelligent and yet unsentimental, The Bridge deals with complex ethical questions with great humanity and subtlety.

Further reading


Read an interview with Enza Gandolfo about The Bridge on SBS Greek

‘Enza plays no cheap tricks with her reader, she doesn’t rip them off with easy epiphanies. It doesn’t matter if they are blameless hardworking migrant men, or reckless teenage girls — no one gets off scot-free.’
Read Alice Pung’s speech launching The Bridge

Listen to a discussion of The Bridge on ABC RN’s The Bookshelf


‘This story is utterly heartbreaking, not least because it’s a story that is repeated across Australia over and over again.’
Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers

‘This is an ambitious, multi-generational story from a skilled writer.’
Julienne van Loon, TEXT review

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