Three works of fiction and three of non-fiction have been selected from an initial longlist of twelve (from a total of 160 entries), to form The Stella Prize shortlist for 2014.

Congratulations to all the nominees.

The 2014 Stella shortlist is:

  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador)
  • The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin)
  • The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Giramondo)
  • Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson (UQP)
  • Night Games by Anna Krien (Black Inc)
  • The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text)

Hannah Kent, Burial RitesMcFarlane, The night guesttheswanbook-wright

boy-lost-olssonnight-games-krienWright Forgotten Rebels Eureka

You can read an extract from each of the shortlisted books in the 2014 Stella Prize Shortlist Sampler.

When I posted a Stella Prize longlist reviews roundup, all of the longlisted titles except Gabrielle Carey’s Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and my family had already been reviewed for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. In the meantime, although not on the shortlist, it has been reviewed over at Adventures of a Subversive Reader who says she “devoured” it.

Moving among strangers

She describes it as “immensely readable”, the story of “a literary pilgrimage”, “a wonderful, moving, whimsical and real story of Stow and his connection to the Carey family. The reviewer says she was inspired to read it by her own childhood reading memories and after finding out that it was on the Stella longlist and writes:

Midnite by Randolph Stow was one of the favourite books of my Year 6 teacher, and he read it aloud to our class, as he had read it aloud to my sister’s class the year before. When I became a teacher, I tracked Midnite down at the Lifeline Book Fest and made it part of my classroom library – it was always exciting when a new student discovered this excellent book about a very bad bushranger. … This isn’t an easy book to summarise, there’s no neat and easy way to explain it. … It’s a glimpse into the life of a prolific Australian author who has sadly been forgotten by a lot of Australia and a wonderful, rich family story at the same time. … I thoroughly recommend this book and hope it gets a big boost with readers thanks to the Stella Prize recognition.”

The Stella Prize judges for 2014 are critic and writer Kerryn Goldsworthy (chair); journalist and broadcaster Annabel Crabb; author and academic Brenda Walker; bookseller Fiona Stager; and writer and lecturer Tony Birch. The 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 29 April. The winner will receive $50,000. Additionally, and for the first time, the other five shortlisted authors will also receive prize money of $2000, courtesy of the Nelson Meers Foundation. This carries forward the generosity shown by Carrie Tiffany, inaugural Stella Prize winner, who last year shared $10,000 of her prize money with her fellow shortlisted authors.

Let us know what you think of the shortlist and keep sending us your reviews of Stella Prize nominated books, either from the longlist or the shortlist. And as always, the full AWW Challenge Review Listings are accessible here.

About Me

I’m a freelance book reviewer, journalist, writer and editor. I blog over at Wordsville and can be found on Twitter @PaulaGrunseit