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…
This week, author Charlotte Wood won the Australian Stella Prize for literature for her novel The Natural Way of Things. “Exposing the threads of misogyny, cowardice and abuses of power embedded in contemporary society, this is a confronting, sometimes deeply painful novel to read. With an unflinching eye and audacious imagination, Charlotte Wood carries us from a nightmare of helplessness and despair to a fantasy of revenge and reckoning,” Chair of the Judges panel, Brenda Walker said. In a gracious acceptance speech, an edited text of which appears below, Wood cast a vivid shaft of light on the on-going emotional (as well as financial) struggle many authors face and her five reasons to write.
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:
Emily Bitto whose The Strays won this year’s Stella Prize, Joan London, Kate Greville and Chigozie Obioma are among the headline writers appearing at the 2015 Byron Bay Writers Festival which is running 7-9 August. The program for the festival, which is held on a beautiful site just a stone’s throw from the ocean…
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).
I admit I approached Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep with some trepidation. The synopsis indicated some dangerous potential pitfalls. The book, which is shortlisted for the Stella Prize and is on the long list for the Miles Franklin Award, is told from the viewpoint of Jimmy, a young boy with learning and communication problems. He exists in a world that is a mystery to most of the adults with whom he comes into contact, either through lack of understanding, time (like the harassed teachers) or resolve to engage effectively with him.
Laguna danced perilously close to the edge of stereotyping in creating Jimmy’s family – drunken, violent father, loving abused mother, and protective then guiltily absent older brother. It is testimony to her skill with character that she instead creates a wholly
One of the reasons I so look forward to the list of finalists for literary prizes is that they often introduce readers to authors they might otherwise not have encountered. When the judges release their list it’s like five or six of your closest friends saying, “you’ll like this book.” And I did like this book.
Ellen van Neerven is one of six authors recently shortlisted for the Stella prize for women writers, one of Australia’s most prestigious awards. Her debut book is Heat and Light which consists of three elements. Heat, a collection of interconnected stories centering around the Kresinger family particularly the mysterious
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: