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Stella Prize 2020 Shortlist announced

March 6, 2020

Well, lookee here, the Stella Prize shortlist was announced this morning while I was at Tai Chi so I am just getting to it now. And, I am rather pleased because, although I’ve only read one of the six, I am currently reading another, and have a third on my reading group schedule, so that’s half of them without really trying! Not that I don’t WANT to try, but my reading schedule is so packed that I find it HARD to try. I therefore love it when the listed books are ones I plan to read anyhow.

So …

Book coverThe shortlist:

  • Jess Hill’s See what you made me do (nonfiction)
  • Caro Llewellyn’s Diving into glass (memoir)
  • Favel Parrett’s There was still love (novel) (will be read in May) (Lisa’s review)
  • Josephine Rowe’s Here until August (short stories)
  • Tara June Winch’s The yield (novel) (reading now) (Lisa’s review)
  • Charlotte Wood’s The weekend (novel) (my review)

After a rather “out there” longlist, which included several books many of us had not heard of, the shortlist, as often happens with the Stella I think, has narrowed down to a less surprising list. Would most you you agree with that? This is not being critical of the longlist – because I hadn’t read most of those books – but simply saying that the shortlist seems more geared to the books that have been generally well received critically. I like to think that that’s because they shine out …

Anyhow, the judges’ chair, Louise Swinn commented on the shortlist that:

Writers across the gamut of their career appear on the 2020 Stella Prize shortlist, which includes authors who are household names alongside some we are just getting acquainted with. The six books on this year’s shortlist are all outward-looking, and they tell stories – of illness, family life, friendship, domestic abuse, and more – in remarkable ways. If language is a tool, or a weapon, then these writers use their skills with tremendous courage. We found a lot to be hopeful about here, too – not just at the stories being told, but at the quality of the art being produced.

The winner will be announced on April 8.

Any comments?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2020 14:59

    “We found a lot to be hopeful about here, too – not just at the stories being told, but at the quality of the art being produced.”
    There’s nice.

  2. March 6, 2020 15:01

    Yes. From a longlist that didn’t inspire, to a shortlist of books that includes books I’ve admired…
    Are you enjoying The Yield?

    • March 6, 2020 15:32

      Very much, as I’m sure you’d expect, Lisa! I decided too long had gone by and those backlogged review copies could just wait a little longer until I read it!

  3. March 6, 2020 16:02

    I’ve read half, entirely by accident! I won’t pop the link for my review of Diving Into Glass here though as it’s not all that favourable. I did enjoy The Weekend and There is Still Love.

    • March 6, 2020 18:41

      Thanks Theresa. I will have read half by May! Haha.

      I usually just link one other review for books I haven’t reviewed otherwise it starts getting complicated, because where do you stop? So, I thought you may have reviewed Diving into glass so checked, and then seeing you didn’t like it a lot wondered whether to link it or not. In the end I decided not because it was a shortlisted book, though I’m not sure that was the right decision!

  4. March 6, 2020 19:37

    I’ve only read three of the six, Sue, but I won’t be surprised if Josephine Rowe wins (and I think that would be the first short story collection to win the Stella). She is a genius.

    • March 6, 2020 19:43

      Thanks Amanda. It would be lovely to see short stories win wouldn’t it? I did like her novel, but haven’t read her short stories. I must say though that I am enjoying The yield.

  5. March 6, 2020 23:23

    I’ve read three and currently reading another two – I feel that given I made no effort to tackle the longlist, I’ve done very well! Of the five I’ve read/reading, all have their merits and would be worthy winners but my heart is with Favel.

    • March 7, 2020 14:41

      Hmmm, I replied to this but on one of my devices and it seems not to have “stuck” so I hope I’m not repeating myself. You’ve done really well! I expect I’ll only have the three – unless one of those three don’t win, because I do like to read the winner! I won’t read the Parett though until May (I think it is).

      As I think I’ve already said, I’m looking forward to your review of The weekend. I know you will have your own take on it, though right now I have not idea what that will be!

  6. March 8, 2020 12:26

    Didn’t know you take Tai Chi. Interesting. 🙂

    • March 8, 2020 12:53

      Started in February last year Arti. Really liking it.

      • March 8, 2020 13:19

        Another type of 6 degrees of separation… I was commenting on Lisa’s post and she replied me and linked me to a Wikipedia page which I had to reply and so on and so forth. All started when she came to my post about women directors and my favorite films by them etc. I enjoy this type of connections a lot!

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