The longlist for the 2020 Stella Prize has been unveiled, with 12 excellent books up for the $50,000 prize celebrating female writing, selected from 150 strong entries.
The list has been described as including “bold voices of reason during a time of great global and national dissent” and features a wide range of original stories and investigations.
It includes a graphic memoir, a young adult number, Aboriginal songspirals, personal memoir, history, short stories and novels.
As Stella judging panel chair Louise Swinn (pictured above) said on the list, they are “original stories to remind us precisely what it is, and what it takes, to be human.”
She added that given the dismal, present state of affairs, it would be easy for writers to feel too angry to pen anything but “bleak treatises on world disorder”.
“But we found quite the opposite — at a time of great global and national dissent, our writers are voices of reason with bold, original stories to remind us precisely what it is, and what it takes, to be human.
Jaclyn Booton, executive director of the Prize said the longlist is, once again, testament to the quality and diversity of women’s writing in Australia.
“During a fire season that has destroyed much of our country and devastated so many communities, it gives me great joy to see the humanity, connectedness and energy in the outstanding books on this year’s list.
She said both the fiction and non-fiction books on the list demonstrate how essential the voices and perspectives of women are
The Stella Prize has significantly boosted sales and the profile of individual female writers in Australia since it was first launched eight years ago to help advocate for the representation of women in writing, and to address gender imbalance more widely.
The 12 books include (in alphabetical order)
Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui (Text Publishing)
Songspirals by Gay’wu Group of Women (Allen & Unwin)
The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab (Giramondo Publishing)
See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill (Black Inc.)
Diving into Glass by Caro Llewellyn (Penguin Random House)
When One Person Dies the Whole World is Over by Mandy Ord (Brow Books)
There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)
Here Until August by Josephine Rowe (Black Inc)
This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing)
The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House)
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)
Paper Emperors by Sally Young (NewSouth Publishing)