The Stella Prize has announce the six books that have made it onto its 2018 shortlist.
The books showcase a breadth of talent in Australian women’s writing across a range of formats and genres, including novellas, collective memoir, multilayered narratives, science fiction and erotica.
“The six titles shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize showcase the incredible breadth of talent in the writing by women in Australia today,” says Fiona Stager, chair of the 2018 judging panel.
“The personal interweaves seamlessly with the political as these authors investigate the past, examine the present and re-imagine our future. Ideas about family, identity in all its forms, and politics at both its most profound and intimate levels are themes that connect these six diverse, engaging and original books.”
Each shortlisted author will receive $3,000, thanks to the support of the Ivy H Thomas and Arthur A Thomas Trust managed by Equity Trustees, and a writing retreat supported by the Trawalla Foundation.
Here are the books that made the shortlist.
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
Written shortly after Azar’s release from Christmas Island, this moving magic-realist novel is narrated by a thirteen-year-old girl as she follows the fortunes of her family in the violent aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman
This arresting and original novel addresses the legacy of Australia’s violent history by imagining a recolonised Australia in the near future.
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
Here individual stories are connected by one key character, the writer, to explore love, betrayal and loneliness. This is ultimately a novel that asks deep questions about responsibility: to ourselves, to each other, and to our national identity.
An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen
This smart, frequently funny novel combines eroticism, science fiction and serious literary talent: With shifting points of view Kneen explores mismatched desires, mortality and the looming prospect of environmental disaster.
The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe
Mirandi Riwoe is a powerful emerging voice in Australian fiction. Her novella plays with a classic short story by Somerset Maugham as well as Javanese mythology to tell the tale of Mina, a shy Indonesian village girl, who finds herself at the mercy of men who do not necessarily have her best interests at heart.
Tracker by Alexis Wright
This is a remarkable biography of Tracker Tilmouth, charismatic Aboriginal leader, thinker, entrepreneur, visionary and provocateur. Wright follows an Aboriginal tradition of collective storytelling that she describes as a “practice for crossing landscapes and boundaries, giving many voices a part in the story”.
The winner of The Stella Prize will be announced in Sydney on April 12.