As you probably know, the Stella Prize is the award I particularly like to follow, though I don’t always post on the Longlist and the Shortlist as I am this year. The Longlist was announced on 7 February (my post), and the shortlist was announced, today, International Women’s Day, as has, appropriately, become tradition.
Here is the shortlist:
- Jenny Ackland’s Little gods (novel/Allen & Unwin) (my review)
- Enza Gandolfo’s The bridge (novel/Scribe) (Lisa’s review)
- Jamie Marina Lau’s Purple Mountain on Locust Island (novel/Brow Books) (Amanda’s guest post on my blog here)
- Vicki Laveau-Harris’ The erratics (memoir/Finch Publishing) (Kim’s – Reading Matters – review)
- Melissa Lucashenko’s Too much lip (novel/UQP)(on my TBR, and coming up soon) (Lisa’s review)
- Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic (essays/Brow Books) (my review)
What an interesting list – and one for which I’ve already read two, and am currently reading a third. This year there are two, not one, non-fiction works on the list, out of the five on the longlist.
Louise Swinn, the 2019 Judging Panel Chair, says that:
The six finalists on the 2019 Stella Prize shortlist explode the myth of the death of the book, and they are a hearty response to the under-representation of women’s work in awards. This is an incredibly diverse knot of books, with broad subjects showing that identity is shaped across many continents and informed by many cultures. Non-fiction and fiction works stray from their formal constraints as authors give authentic voices to those who are otherwise under-represented. The books on this shortlist inform and entertain, and while they speak absolutely to our moment, their insights are timeless.
Anyhow, what do I think about the list? Well, it is an intriguing one – and from what I’ve heard and/or read myself the list encompasses quite a variety of concerns and styles, and is not, probably, what you’d call conventional! Whether you agree with the judges choices or not, I like this.
The winner receives $50,000, and each shortlisted author receives $3000, as well as a three-week writing retreat on the Victorian coast. It’s a lovely generous prize. The winner will be announced on 9 April.
Now, I’ll get back to my reading … but if you have any comments on the list, I’d love to hear them.