2021 Stella Prize, Literary prizes

2021 Stella Prize winner announced

Congratulations to Evie Wyld on winning this year’s Stella Prize for her novel The Bass Rock.

According to the chair of the judging panel, Zoya Patel, the book is “consuming and perplexing”, adding that it…

“forces the reader to think and engage with the unique narrative structure, but in a way that feels effortless, so engaged are you by the story. This is a novel that demonstrates the author’s versatility of style, with the separate narrative parts each having an individual voice. And yet, at no point does the book feel disjointed. Instead, it is as though Evie Wyld has chosen each and every word with precision, building a novel that is a true work of art.”

You can read the full announcement, made tonight, on the Stella Prize website.

Unfortunately, I haven’t read this novel, although it’s been in my digital TBR for quite some time.

In fact, eagle-eyed followers of this blog might have noticed I abandoned my project to read all the books on the Stella Prize shortlist. There’s just been too much going on in my life to commit to reading so many books in such a short space of time. Maybe next year!

Anyone read The Bass Rock? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

2021 Stella Prize, Australia, Australian Women Writers Challenge, Author, AWW2021, Book review, Fiction, literary fiction, Literary prizes, Malaysia, Publisher, S.L. Lim, Setting, Transit Lounge

‘Revenge: Murder in Three Parts’ by S.L. Lim

Fiction – Kindle edition; Transit Lounge; 199 pages; 2020.

Despite the title, S.L. Lim’s Revenge: Murder in Three Parts is not a crime novel. Instead, it’s a beguiling tale of a Malaysian woman who finds herself on the wrong side of the gender divide, constantly overlooked by her parents in favour of her older brother, who is given all the advantages and manages to make something of himself, first in the UK, then later in Australia.

As the only daughter, Yannie must give up any hope of attending university (despite being an excellent student), to help run the family’s corner store. Later, after her parents retire, she reinvents herself as a personal tutor to pay the bills and support them in their old age.

It’s not until her mother’s death that she finally has the opportunity to go abroad to visit her brother and his family in Sydney, Australia, and it is this change of scenery that gives Yannie pause to reflect.

Outwardly, Yannie is passive, polite and pliable, but inwardly she’s full of rage, (understandably) angry at the opportunities denied to her. Her rich interior life, in which she imagines living with Shuying, her schoolgirl crush, is the only thing that seems to sustain her.

Her life, dictated by others close to her (and society in general) means that she has not been able to follow her dreams, nor live her most authentic life. Her physical impoverishment has only been matched by her spiritual impoverishment.

When she moves in with her brother Shan, she begins to see the abuse he once doled out to her as a child (and which her parents ignored) has now manifested in coercive control of his wife and teenage daughter, with occasional temper tantrums and angry outbursts that everyone seems to shrug off as if they never happened.

During her stay, Yannie grows close to both her sister-in-law Evelyn and niece Kat, whom she tutors, but can’t quite get her head around the fact that both have become beholden not only to her psychopathic brother but the money he earns and the extravagant lifestyle which he provides them.

When a seemingly innocuous opportunity for revenge presents itself, Yannie grabs it — but the consequences aren’t quite what one would expect.

Revenge: Murder in Three Parts is a powerful story about women’s inequality, domestic abuse, impoverishment and the struggle to live your most authentic life. And it asks important questions about revenge, guilt — and redemption.

For other reviews of this book, please see Lisa’s review at ANZLitLovers and Kate’s review at Booksaremyfavouriteand best.

Revenge: Murder in Three Parts has been shortlisted for this year’s Stella Prize.

I read this one as part of my attempt to read all the book’s on this year’s Stella Prize shortlist. it is also my 8th book for #AWW2021.  

2021 Stella Prize, Literary prizes

2021 Stella Prize shortlist

Stella Prize badgeI’m a bit late with this, because, well, life keeps getting in the way, but in the interests of following this prize on my blog, here’s the Stella Prize shortlist anyway.

It was announced yesterday and the winner of the $50,000 prize for Australian women writers will be named next month.

The titles on the shortlist are as follows:

I have already read The Animals in that Country which is an extraordinary novel and one that I would be very pleased to see take out the top prize. I do, however, plan on reading as many of these titles as possible before the winner is named. Please keep popping back here as I will update the hyperlinks above as and when I review each title.

The winner will be announced in Melbourne on 22 April.

You can read the official announcement here.

Please note, all books appear to be available to purchase in the UK and USA. 

2021 Stella Prize

2021 Stella Prize longlist

Stella Prize badgeThe Stella Prize longlist for 2021 has just been announced and it’s bulging with books I actually want to read, unlike last year when I thought it was just trying too hard to cover every kind of book imaginable.

I’m delighted to see this year’s list features a couple of books I have already read (see the pink hyperlinks below) and pretty much everything else is already in my TBR or has been previously added to my wishlist. Only a few are completely new to me (the Lim, Milligan and Moore).

This is what is on the list:

  • Fathoms: the world in the whale, by Rebecca Giggs (Scribe Publications)
  • Revenge: Murder in Three Parts, by S.L. Lim (Transit Lounge)
  • The Animals in That Country, by Laura Jean McKay ((Scribe Publications)
  • Witness, by Louise Milligan (Hachette Australia)
  • Metal Fish, Falling Snow, by Cath Moore (Text Publishing)
  • The Wandering, by Intan Paramaditha (Penguin Random House)
  • Stone Sky Gold Mountain, by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)
  • Blueberries, by Ellena Savage (Text Publishing)
  • Song of the Crocodile, by Nardi Simpson (Hachette Australia)
  • Smart Ovens for Lonely People, by Elizabeth Tan (Brio Books)
  • A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing, by Jessie Tu (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Bass Rock, by Evie Wyld (Penguin Random House)

Once #SouthernCrossCrime2021 is over, I will look at reading everything on the shortlist, which will be announced on 25 March. The winner will be named on 22 April.

Only books (fiction and non-fiction) published by Australian women between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020 are eligible for the $50,000 prize.

You can read the official announcement here.