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:
The Women’s Pages by Debra Adelaide (Pan Macmillan)
The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop (Hachette)
Panthers and the Museum of Fire by Jen Craig (Spineless Wonders).
Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Random HOuse)
Hope Farm by Peggy Frew (Scribe)
A Few Days in the Country by Elizabeth Harrower (Text);
A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones (Random House)
The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau (Bloomsbury)
A Short History of Richard Kline by Amanda Lohrey (Black Inc.)
Anchor Point by Alice Robinson (Affirm Press);
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)
Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (Giramondo)
The chair of the Stella judging panel, author Brenda Walker, said that many of the works on the longlist are set in the countryside. This, she said adds to a “tradition in Australian literature that offers both idyllic and unsettling accounts of rural life. Women writers have, historically, contributed most powerfully to this tradition, and the rural fictions on the longlist remind us of the frailty of the natural world, the value of documenting the appearance of the landscape and the way that contradictory motivations can play out most visibly in isolated situations”
The shortlist will be announced on March 10 and the winner on April 19.
Last year’s winner was Emily Bitto for her novel The Strays. In 2014 the prize went to Clare Wright for The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and the inaugural Stella Prize in 2013 was won by Claire Tiffany for her novel Mateship with Birds.
The 2015 shortlist was: Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette); The Strays by Emily Bitto (Affirm Press); The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally (Black Inc); The Eye of the Sheep by Sophie Laguna (Allen & Unwin); The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House) and Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven (UQP)
The 2014 shortlist consisted of: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador), Night Games:
Sex, Power and Sport by Anna Krien (Black Inc); The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin); Boy Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristine Olsson (UQP); The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Giramondo) and The Forgoten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text).
The 2013 shortlist consisted of: The Burial by Courtney Collins (Allen & Unwil); Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin); The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson (Five Islands Press); Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy (Scribe) and Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin).