23 Mar 2015

The 2015 Stella Prize

On the 12th of March, the shortlist for the Stella Prize was announced. For those of you who might not know, the Stella Prize celebrates Australian women and their contribution to literature. I've never really paid much attention to literary awards - I read the books I'm interested in rather than just reading ones because they've been nominated for or awarded something. However, this year I decided to change that.

Some of you may have guessed that I feel very strongly about female authors and I've been trying to support more this year. Then I remembered the Stella Prize, and I thought why not read and review those books. Not only do I get to support women, but I get to support fellow Australians too which is really cool.

This is just a post to say that it is my plan to read through the 2015 shortlist and to review each of them here (and on Goodreads). The winner will be announced on the 21st of April and so I'm hoping to read all six by then. So let's briefly talk about the six nominated pieces.

(Photo Credit: The Stella Prize)

The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
All I know about this one is that it follows a little boy named Jimmy who has an alcoholic and abusive father, and that it is supposed to be a truly beautiful and haunting story.

The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally
This a non-fiction piece, I believe, which is something I usually steer very clear of but the synopsis says that it 'tells us about our individual, social, and anthropological pasts' and as I am studying anthropology this semester, I thought it would be interesting thing to read.

The Golden Age by Joan London
This is 1950's Perth with refugees from Europe and an Australian boy caught up in the polio epidemic. It sounds incredibly interesting, and it's also the one that has the longest hold list at the library... I'm 41st in line.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke
I just started this one about an hour ago, and from what I can tell so far it is a collection of short stories that all focus on displacement as a theme, but through different voices and in different settings and times. 

The Strays by Emily Bitto
This is 1930's Melbourne (um, GIVE IT TO ME) that tells the friendship of two young girls. It also looks at art, family, friendship and ambition. 

Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven
This is another story collection, but this one is split into three parts: Heat, Water, Light. I don't know much else about this one, but I think it's one of those to go into blindly. 

Those are the six books, if you'd like to learn more about them then check out these two posts here and here. I'll be doing a wrap up around the 20th of April about how I went with these books and I'll link all the reviews within that so if you're interested in seeing what I think then look out for that. 

I'm hoping I get the chance to read the other six books that make up the longlist as well as a few from 2014 and 2013, but I'll be working my way through those a little slower. 

Let me know if you're planning to read any of these, or if you already have. I hope you're all having a wonderful Monday (Yeah, that was a joke. Who has nice Mondays?)