The Stella Prize announces 2018 shortlist

Women across the creative industries are demanding their voices be heard. Today the publishing world is holding the mic, with The Stella Prize announcing its 2018 shortlist.

First established in 2013, The Stella Prize is named for author Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin, and celebrates fiction and non-fiction published by Australian women. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, today’s announcement showcases books from an incredibly diverse selection of female authors.

Chair of the 2018 judging panel Fiona Stager, said:

“The six titles shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize showcase the incredible breadth of talent in the writing by women in Australia today. The personal interweaves seamlessly with the political as these authors investigate the past, examine the present and re-imagine our future. Ideas about family, identity in all its forms, and politics at both its most profound and intimate levels are themes that connect these six diverse, engaging and original books.”

This year’s shortlist includes:

Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (Fiction)
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all. This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history. This TERRA NULLIUS is something new, but all too familiar.

The Life To Come by Michelle De Kretser (Fiction)
Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Keen (Fiction)
A novel in five parts by one of Australia’s most inventive and provocative writers. Moving, thoughtful, sometimes playful, it is about who we are—our best and worst selves, our innermost selves—and who we might become.

Tracker by Alexis Wright (Non-Fiction)
Alexis Wright returns to non-fiction in her new book, a collective memoir of the charismatic Aboriginal leader, political thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth, who died in Darwin in 2015 at the age of 62.

The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe (Fiction)
Sparked by the description of a ‘Malay trollope’ in W. Somerset Maugham’s story, ‘The Four Dutchmen’, The Fish Girl tells of an Indonesian girl whose life is changed irrevocably when she moves from a small fishing village to work in the house of a Dutch merchant. There she finds both hardship and tenderness as her traditional past and colonial present collide.

The 2018 prize results will be announced on Thursday 12th April, with the winning author taking home $50,000. More information and extracts from the shortlisted works can be found on The Stella Prize website.