Stella Prize 2021 Winner announced

Unfortunately – though not really – I was not able to “attend” the online announcement as I did last year, as I’m spending a few days in the Snowy Mountains with Mr Gums and two friends.

Before I announce the winner, which most of you will have heard by now anyhow, here is a quick recap:

  • the longlist was announced on 4 March; and
  • the shortlist was announced on 25 March: Rebecca Giggs’ Fathoms: The world in the whale (non-fiction); SL Lim’s Revenge (fiction); Laura Jean McKay’s The animals in that country (fiction); Louise Milligan’s Witness (non-fiction); Mirandi Riwoe’s Stone sky gold mountain (fiction); Evie Wyld’s The bass rock (fiction)

And the winner, from 160 entries, is British-Australian author Evie Wyld’s The bass rock. Jaclyn Booth, Stella Prize’s Executive Director, called it “a gripping novel that is unlike anything I’ve read before”, and judging panel chair, Zoya Patel, says that it “forces the reader to think and engage with the unique narrative structure, but in a way that feels effortless, so engaged are you by the story.” It deals with the legacy, and trauma, of male violence, so is very much a “zeitgeist book”, which is to say, it’s relevant to our times. I must read it, as I have the previous fiction winners …

It is the fifth work of fiction to win in nine years. The previous four were Heather Rose’s The museum of modern love (2017, my review), Charlotte Wood’s The natural way of things (2016, my review), Emily Bitto’s The strays (2015, my review), and Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with birds (2013, my review).

You can read more about the book on the Stella website.

The winner receives $50,000, and each long and shortlisted author also receive monetary prizes.

If you have any comments on the winner, please share them with us.

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