Novels and collections of short stories including work by Elizabeth Harrower, Charlotte Wood and Amanda Lohrey dominate the long list $50,000 annual Stella Prize which celebrates great books, fiction and non-fiction, by female Australian authors. The only non-fiction book to make the list is Small Acts of Disappearance : Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright. The full long list is:
Some of the finest writing this year is showcased in the shortlist for the Kibble Literary Award for established authors and the Dobbie Literary Award for a debut published author, both just announced. The shortlisted authors for the Dobbie, which carries a $30,000 prize are: Sophie Cunningham for Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy (Text Publishing), Helen Garner, This House of Grief (Text Publishing) and Joan London (left), The Golden Age (Vintage Australia). The shortlist for the Dobbie Literary Award which has a $5,000 prize are Emily Bitto The Strays (Affirm Press); Ellen van Neerven (right) for Heat and Light (University of Queensland Press) and Christine Piper After Darkness (Allen & Unwin).
Women writers dominate the short list for the Miles Franklin, one of Australia’s most prestigious awards which was announced tonight. Only one man, Craig Sherborne, who wrote Tree Palace, made it through. The short list for the $60,000 prize which celebrates “Australian life in all its glories” is:
- Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett, Penguin.
- The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna, Allen & Unwin (reviewed here).
- The Golden Age by Joan London, Random House.
- After Darkness by Christine Piper, Allen & Unwin.
- Tree Palace by Craig Sherborne Text Publishing.
The judges’ spokesman, Richard Neville, said the shortlisted novels had “a rich cast of unforgettable characters, and themes ranging from childhood
Joan London (right) wanted to write about the 1950s, “the time of her childhood.” Emily Biffo wanted to write about a group of people attempting to separate themselves from mainstream culture. And Elen Van Neervan wanted to ask questions about Indigenous governance in Australia, and issues like land rights, identity and love. Each of the six finalists for the Stella Prize for Fiction, the winner of which will be announced next week, has explained the inspiration behind their shortlisted books in a series of revealing interviews with The Guardian.
Maxine Beneba Clark whose collection of short stories Foreign Soil is published by Hachette, said she was looking at “people trying to find a place for themselves in the world – about the search for a true place to call home, about the things we gain when we migrate, and the all-consuming heartache of our leaving, even as we find the very things we’re looking for”.
Journalist and author Christine Keneally is the only non-fiction author to make it onto the shortlist of Australia’s prestigious The Stella Prize for women writers announced today. Her The Invisible History of the Human Race looks at the role of DNA in shaping us, and our world.
The other five finalists are:
- Joan London’s The Golden Age (Random House)
- Emily Bitto’s The Strays (Affirm Press)
- Ellen van Neerven’s Heat and Light (UQP) ,
- Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep (Allen & Unwin)
- Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil (Hachette)
In announcing the shortlist, Stella Prize executive director Aviva Tuffield said: “These six remarkable books explore themes of identity, family, displacement and belonging, with distinctly Australian resonances.’’ The winner will be announced on Tuesday 21 April. Previous recipients of the prize are Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds (2013) and Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (2014).
Below is the Stella Award’s synopsis of each of the finalists.
Joan London’s poignant The Golden Age and The House of Grief, Helen Gardner’s harrowing reportage of a crime that shocked the world, are standouts on the longlist for Australia’s prestigious $50,000 Stella Prize, which celebrates women authors, and which was announced yesterday. The longlist for the Prize, which was first awarded in 2013, also includes three debut writers.
Full long list is:
2014 has been another wonderful year for literature, a classic case of so many books, so little time. I ended the year having read 80 books, predominantly fiction novels, but including one play (Mike Bartlett’s perceptive and witty King Charles 111, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories.
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Text)
The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol (W.W.Norton)
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Bloomsbury)
Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami (Alfred A Knopf)
Thank you For Your Service by David Finkle (Text)
Beyond the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo (Random House)
The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House Australia)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Allen & Unwin)
A Winter’s Book by Tove Jansson (A Sort of Book)
His Own Man by Ribeiro Edgard (Text):
The gender division was 66-44 per cent to the blokes, the authors came from