The 2021 Stella Prize Longlist

The 2021 Stella Prize longlist has been announced:

  • Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs
  • Revenge: Murder in Three Part, by S.L. Lim
  • The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay
  • Witness by Louise Milligan
  • Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore
  • The Wandering by Intan Paramaditha
  • Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe
  • Blueberries by Ellena Savage
  • Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson
  • Smart Ovens for Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan
  • A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu
  • The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

Because the Stella nominations are announced alphabetically, I knew by book two that most of my predictions weren’t going to be listed (Baird, Hannon, Hinton and Mason – you were robbed!). Anyway, I correctly predicted four, continuing my crappy record.

I’ve already read two (Riwoe and Wyld); have a few in the reading stack ready to go (Giggs, Lim and McKay); and have placed a bunch of library reservations.

My first impressions – it’s an extremely varied list and, from what the judges had to say, it seems each book is complex (in terms of themes and structure). Do I have the stamina for reading ten complex books before the shortlist is announced? Unlikely. I’ll probably start with Giggs and her book about whales 🙂

The shortlist will be announced on March 25 and the winner on April 22.

14 responses

  1. It looks like a great list to me, jam packed with books I actually want to read this year (as opposed to last year’s). I will wait until the shortlist announcement before diving in. I’ve already read two and have 4 in my TBR already.

    • I don’t feel as enthusiastic about the list as I was hoping I’d be – seems to be lacking the kind of ‘relationship stories’/ character-driven novels that I tend to go for. And no memoir (although I guess Witness might fall into that category…).
      That said, I am keen to read Fathoms, Revenge, Blueberries and Witness – have heard great things about Blueberries in particular. I reckon that’s all I’ll manage before the shortlist is announced (the year before last, none of my longlist reading made the shortlist – hope that doesn’t happen this year given the shorter timelines!).

  2. Predicting 1/3 is very good! To my astonishment, I’ve read two of these: McKay (meh) and Wyld (my favourite novel of last year — so fingers crossed for her). I’m interested in Fathoms and Blueberries.

    • The McKay doesn’t really appeal to me, despite all the glowing reviews it’s getting. I thought the Wyld was good but a bit uneven (from memory I enjoyed her first book more). I’ll be starting Fathoms immediately, and Blueberries will be next. A few Aus book bloggers tipped Blueberries months ago 🙂

  3. Interesting list Kate, with a few I really want to read … how many I actually do read will be a different matter. I’m interesting about Lohrey not making it because Lisa and my brother – two people I respect – are both really impressed by it. However, you can’t win them all and this list does sound interesting.

    • Every year I’m surprised by the omissions (for example, I really thought Phosphorescence by Julia Baird would be there). I haven’t read Labyrinth but I’m waiting on a library copy, on the strength of Lisa’s review.

    • Bass Rock is told from a few different perspectives and although I found it a little uneven, the story of one character in particular was brilliant.

  4. Pingback: Things that are making me happy this week | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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