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.
- 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.