Another year. Another Stella Prize longlist!
You guys might know that I’ve been following the Stella Prize for the last two years. If you’re interested, you can see the posts I did for 2016 and 2017 here. The longlist was just announced for 2018, so it’s time for another round of pre-reading thoughts!
For those of you who might not know, The Stella Prize celebrates women writers, both fiction and non-fiction, in Australia. It is the only literary award list that I actively read from. Even more than that, it’s the only literary award I pay any attention to. So without further ado, let’s start.
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
I hadn’t heard of this one before but it sounds amazing. It takes place in Iran after the Islamic Revolution and apparently has a magical realism feel to it mixed with Persian storytelling. Very different to what I’m used to, but it sounds incredible!
A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work by Bernadette Brennan
Helen Garner is a very popular Australian writer, and yet I’ve never read any of her work. I’m very interested in her, so the plan is to read some of her work before diving into this one.
Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and The Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole-Adams
I’m not going to lie—this one kind of terrifies me. I’ve been under anaesthesia over 60 times, and all before I was eleven, but I’ve never thought about it. So I’m both incredibly interested and a little scared to read this one.
Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman
This is one of the few books this year that I’d heard of. In fact, this one has been on my radar since before it’s release. As far as I know this is an alternate history/sci fi imagining of the colonisation of Australia. That’s already an incredibly emotional and horrifying period, so I can’t wait to see what Coleman does with it.
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
This is one I’ve been seeing around at work for months, but I’ve never been super intrigued by it. However, it is going to be my first read for this year’s list because I managed to get my hands on an e-book! I’m interested to see what I think of this one.
This Water: Five Tales by Beverley Farmer
I’m not usually a short story person, but this synopsis mentions Sylvia Plath so you know I’m in!
The Green Bell: A Memoir of Love, Madness and Poetry by Paula Keogh
This one is pretty high up on my list this year. I’m not usually a memoir person, but I’ve had good experiences with all the memoirs I’ve read for the prize so I’m excited. Plus I love reading about mental illness and poetry.
An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen
So this one is pitched as a sci fi erotica? I love sci fi, but I’m not an erotica fan. However, it sounds really interesting. One review on Goodreads describes it as ‘a thought-provoking look at how technology might alter our relationships with our bodies’, which makes it sound really interesting.
The Choke by Sofie Laguna
I read Laguna’s book The Eye of the Sheep back in 2015 and loved it, so this one has been on my list to pick up for a while. I have this one on reserve in ebook form, and I’m so excited!
Martin Sharp: His Life and Times by Joyce Morgan
Honestly, I’m not going to read this one. All the others on this list are ones I’d genuinely like to try, but I have no desire to pick this one up. I love reading about artists, but a) I have no idea who Martin Sharp is, b) I’m just more interested in biographies about women.
The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe
This one sounds a little bit like the start of The Girl with the Pearl Earring in that a girl goes to work for a Dutch merchant. Yes, I’m grasping at straws here, but the cover is gorgeous!
Tracker by Alexis Wright
I’ve heard of Alexis Wright before but never picked up one of her books, so I’m excited to finally getting around to reading her. I hope I end up enjoying her!
And there we are, this year’s longlist and my thoughts on it! For the first time ever I’ve managed to find library copies of all of these books, so I’m hoping to get through all of them. I’ll be posting reviews of all that I read and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the shortlist when that’s released. In the meantime, onto the reading!