The judges of the Stella Prize had earlier announced the longlist for this year’s prize. A total of 12 books have been chosen from a set of more than 150 by a panel of five judges.
For the uninitiated, the Stella Prize is awarded annually to a book of fiction or non-fiction written by a female Australian writer. It is named after Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin. The winner is entitled to a $50,000 prize. Each longlisted entry also receives a $1,000 prize money.
Stella Prize 2020 longlist
The selected books, in no particular order, are:
Diving into Glass by Caro Llewellyn
“Diving into Glass” is an emotional memoir. It talks about family, purpose, and vulnerability. It is a painful yet funny portrait of the truth about disabilities. The book is set on the backdrop of childhood trauma and mental illness.
Here Until August by Josephine Rowe
“Here Until August” is a collection of short stories comprising of characters who are traveling beyond the boundaries of the worlds known to them. It aims to show us how the places where we choose to live our lives can just as easily turn inward as outward.
Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui
“Lucky Ticket” is a collection of short stories comprising of a diverse range of characters, each with their own distinctive voice. The stories revolve around the themes of difficulties between family generations, identity, mixed race relationships, and war and subsequent dislocation.
Paper Emperors by Sally Young
“Paper Emperors” is a non-fiction book that talks about Australia’s newspaper empires, spanning over a period of 140 years. It reveals who owned the newspapers and how they were used to wield political power.
See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill
“See What You Made Me Do” is a non-fiction book about psychology and the ways in which abusers exert control in the darkest and most intimate of settings. The prose tries to dismantle the flawed logic of victim-blaming.
Songspirals by Gay’wu Group of Women
“Songspirals” is a non-fiction book dealing with the aboriginal cultures of Australia. It throws light on the role indigenous women play in the community. The authors are a group of five Yolngu women and three non-Aboriginal women.
The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab
“The House of Youssef” is a collection of short stories set in Western Sydney. The central theme revolves around the lives of Lebanese migrants settled in the area. This is accompanied with the subsequent isolation and nostalgia.
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood
“The Weekend” is the story of three friends in their seventies, who gather for a last weekend at the former holiday home of a friend who has recently passed. The author has already won the prize in 2016 for “The Natural Way of Things”.
The Yield by Tara June Winch
“The Yield” is a work of fiction. The narrative contains words from the language of the Wiradjuri people. In general, it talks about the role a language plays in driving the people and their culture.
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett
“There Was Still Love” is a historical fiction novel set in Prague and Melbourne in the twentieth century. It aims to celebrate the strong women who bind the families together, despite dislocation due to wars. It is a story of family, love, and memories.
This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield
“This is How We Change the Ending” is a young adult contemporary fiction novel. It is a story about what it takes to fight back when you are not a hero. The prose is brimming with gentle refuge, anxieties, attitude, and raw anger – things synonymous with adolescents.
When One Person Dies the Whole World is Over by Mandy Ord
“When One Person Dies the Whole World is Over” is a graphic non-fiction novel. It is presented as a day-to-day diary of one year of the author’s life. The book is all about the search for meaning in everyday life.
What about the Stella Prize 2020 shortlist?
The shortlist will be announced on March 6. A total of 6 books are expected to be shortlisted from the above longlist. Any guesses which of the above will make the shortlist?
And the winner of the Stella Prize 2020?
The winner will be declared on April 8 in Sydney.