I’ve been glued to Twitter all evening, busting to hear the Stella Prize 2017 longlist announcement. It’s here, so now I can relax (and start reading and predicting) –
01. The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016 by Sonya Voumard
02. Dying by Cory Taylor (Vale)
03. Wasted by Elspeth Muir
04. The High Places by Fiona McFarlane
05. Avalanche by Julia Leigh
06. An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire
07. The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose
08. Offshore by Madeline Gleeson
09. Poum and Alexandre by Catherine de Saint Phalle
10. The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke
11. Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain
12. Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird
I haven’t read any yet. I’m about to get very busy.
It’s going to be a great reading year.
I’m one ahead of you – An Isolated Incident. I think I’ll read the Blain and maybe a couple of the others. Guess I’d better go back and check out the reviews.
The Blain, Rose and Taylor are probably first on my list. I’ll read a few so that I’m not scrambling to get through them when the short-list is announced! (although knowing my luck I’ll pick ones that don’t make the shortlist!).
I’ve read only one on the list and heard of just one other writer, a reflection of how poor British coverage of Australian writing is.
Susan, can I suggest that you follow expat Aussie Kim Forrester’s blog Reading Matters? She’s based in London but last year she ran a year of Australian reading and generally keeps up with many new releases https://readingmattersblog.com/.
Thanks, Lisa. I’m a follower of Kim’s excellent blog and have picked up quite a few recommendations from her.
Honestly Susan, a number of these didn’t get extensive coverage in Australia either.
Ha! Me too. I have only read “The Museum of Modern Love” by Heather Rose which I thought was brilliant. Some interesting non fiction – am keen to read the Julia Baird first I think…
The Rose has been on my TBR list for quite a while so now I best get to it!
I won’t tackle the Baird unless it makes the shortlist (at nearly 700 pages, it would be valuable reading time…). But agree, some good non-fiction (I’m keen to read the Voumard) and some really excellent memoirs.
I’ve read (and reviewed) three: Emily Maguire’s is excellent; Sonya Voumard’s is a very important book indeed given current media issues, and Georgia Blain’s was her best book yet. I’ve had The Museum of Modern Love on the TBR for a while without getting excited enough to pick it up, so I’ll take another look at it tonight…
I’ve had Museum on my TBR list for a while as well but it’s the Blain that I’ll read first. Also keen to read the Voumard. I just hit my local library online reserve system and placed lots of orders!
So, does your Clarke prediction still stand or has the longlist changed your thoughts?
I’ve started Museum, I’m just under half way through. It’s much more cerebral than I expected.
Well, I read a review of the Clarke poetry this weekend, the one that won the poetry section of the Vic Premier’s Prize, and the reviewer wasn’t overly impressed. #Paraphrasing because it’s a full column review: He (Michael Farrell in The Australian) thought the sentiments were powerful, but the poetry itself was lacking in some ways. “Her poetic form is largely an assembling of affective and activist image bytes and fragments. This is clearly a generative mode, but there’s a sense of struggling to get the timing of poems to work on the page. They work well when read aloud.” He says the poems “bear the effects of the social, of immediate connection needed with audience, yet this is the social reduced rather than inflected or complicated in the poem.”
It wasn’t the Clarke book I had expected to win (which was The Hate Race in the NF section) but the one which won was equally political (the Manus Island refugees one), and the overall winner even more so, The Drover’s Wife which is a play. So who knows, it’s hard for judges when a literary community has been accused of being racist (have you seen the videos about Africa on the Wheeler Centre website?)
Bother, we’ve had some family stuff going on tonight & I forgot about this. Thanks for the timely distraction – I’ve got 11 books to get started on!!
And I’ve got 12! Eek! At least we know there’s a lot of quality ahead 🙂
Clive’s Mum has just finished Victoria .. and said it was good… she got it for Xmas. It’s a big book!
At nearly 700 pages I think I’ll probably leave it at this stage – of course, if it gets shortlisted I’ll be under the pump to get through it for the Stella book group… might have to call Clive’s mum for a rundown 😀
I haven’t read any of these yet either.
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I will try to read at least one of these this year.
I just borrowed a stack from the library – stay tuned for some reviews!
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