Stella Prize 2019 – my prediction

Do I dare make a prediction? I’ve been woefully wrong the last few years…

A reminder of the contenders –

I’ve read five (and I’m unlikely to get through Too Much Lip today – obviously will spew if the one I haven’t read is the winner).

I think it’s the year for a novel with heart – my money is on either Little Gods or The Bridge. Thoughts?

22 responses

  1. Well done Kate, I think my two choices are between Little Gods or Pink Mountain on Locust Island. I am still to read The Bridge, so may have to change my mind!

    • I didn’t go much for Pink Mountain – appreciate that it pushes the boundaries but I also want to enjoy my reading experience, and Little Gods certainly fitted the bill.

  2. Ditto what Lisa said. I’ve only read 3, with a fourth waiting to go. If it wins I’ll really try to read it. I have a gut feeling about one I’ve read and one I haven’t – and that’s as far as I’ll go except to say that one of them is one of your picks!! I’ll be at yoga when it’s announced so will have to wait patiently until 10pm or so before I know and can post my Winner Announcement! Darn, but I don’t want to miss yoga.

  3. I’d love Axiomatic to win but I suspect it might go to Too Much Lip. That said, having read them all, I’d be happy for any of these books to be named winner, they’re all so good.

    • I thought Axiomatic was terrific but I keep coming back to judges comments about the shortlist and the focus on families… which I understand would put Too Much Lip right up there.

      • But did they say they WANTED that focus? OK, I’m going to come out … !!

        I haven’t read Lau, but if they were looking for something different that pushes expression, and if they think it works, which they clearly do, then I’d say Lau – but my feeling is that Lau might be a step too far. I can’t help thinking that Axiomatic might be a step too far too, although I agree with kimbofo that it’s a worthy winner because it really confronts us with a lot of the assumptions we make. It digs deep into what’s really going on in sociopolitical structures, in interpersonal relationships, in social justice.

        I really enjoyed Little Gods, and I expect I’d enjoy The bridge, but Too much lip confronts contemporary life in the raw. There’s no sugarcoating, and there are a lot of truths. There’s a knowing affectionate but honest analysis of indigenous communities. The characters are complex, it’s funny, and yet is a page-turner too. The writing makes us think, and doesn’t pander to non-indigenous readers. It just seems, from those I’ve read, to be the whole package of what we want from contemporary writing.

        The erratics sounds really fascinating, but I don’t hear enough buzz to understand why it might win.

      • I wonder if that lack of buzz about The Erratics is because the publisher (sadly) went bust and it was almost impossible to come by. It’s been picked up by Fourth Estate (phew) but was only republished in late March.

      • I think that was a major part of it (the lack of buzz). All the bookshops had big Stella displays, minus The Erratics. I commented to one bookseller that from a publishers and publicists point of view, you couldn’t have scripted this nightmare!

  4. After finishing The Bridge last night I thought that it would win. I read all the short list and was a bit disappointed that Erratics won. Yet, I realize, the judges have a very difficult job in making their final decision.

    • Yes, I agree. The Bridge seemed a relatively straightforward story on the surface but I thought the themes were complex and incredibly well incorporated.

      Anyway, I figure Stella has done her job if we’re all having these discussions!

  5. I was leaning towards your predictions, but alas, it’s the year of the memoir instead of the novel…
    (I read your post about the winner before this, catching up on my blog feed from newest to oldest from the last few days).

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