Stella Prize longlist offers gold mine of great reads

If you’re looking for some suggestions about which book to read next, literary prize longlists are always a great starting place. The recent announcement of the 12 books in the running for Australia’s $50,000 Stella Prize is an excellent example. The Stella Prize is open to Australian women authors writing in any genre, with this year’s long list including seven works of fiction and five non-fiction. The short list will be announced on Friday March 8 and the winner on Tuesday April 9.

In announcing the long list the Judges said: “We wished for more representations of otherness and diversity from publishers: narratives from outside Australia, from and featuring women of colour, LGBTQIA stories, Indigenous stories, more subversion, more difference. Notwithstanding this, we found a great deal to admire, and rediscovered the joy of reading anew every time we found a surprise.

“Ultimately, we chose books that strove for something big and fulfilled their own ambitions. We fell in love with some curious and funny narratives, some dark and intellectual stories, some lyrical and poetic observations, some youthful wisdom, and the audacious frivolity of age. This longlist has humour but is never frivolous – all the books are of a high calibre, showing first-rate critical thinking capabilities, and tremendous imagination. We were educated and entertained by writers of all ages, and each of the writers here managed to delight us. These are all artists concerned with the most important questions of our age and how to live now, and it has been a pleasure to be in their company.”

Stella Prize 2019 longlist

  • Little Gods by Jenny Ackland (Allen & Unwin)
  • Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop (Hachette Australia)
  • Bluebottle by Belinda Castles (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo (Scribe)
  • The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House)
  • The Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones (Text Publishing)
  • Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau (Brow Books)
  • The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie (Finch Publishing)
  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)
  • Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (UQP)
  • Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin (Brow Books)
  • The World Was Whole by Fiona Wright (Giramondo Publishing)

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