My Reading Life: The 2018 Stella Prize Longlist

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The 2018 Stella Prize longlist of powerful books by Australian women is:

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Wild Dingo Press)
A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work by Bernadette Brennan (Text Publishing)

Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole-Adams (Text Publishing)
Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (Hachette Australia)
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
This Water: Five Tales by Beverley Farmer (Giramondo)
The Green Bell: A Memoir of Love, Madness and Poetry by Paula Keogh (Affirm Press)
An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen (Text Publishing)
The Choke by Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)
Martin Sharp: His Life and Times by Joyce Morgan (Allen & Unwin)
The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe (Seizure)
Tracker by Alexis Wright (Giramondo)


Chair of the 2018 Stella Prize judging panel, Fiona Stager, says:

‘Our longlist challenges the reader to experience the pleasures of reading different forms of writing: speculative fiction, novella, memoir, biography, non-narrative nonfiction, history, short stories and work in translation. Included on the longlist are authors who have inverted genres through imaginative and subversive literary techniques and by incorporating traditional storytelling practices of mythology and magic realism. Reflected also is the power of contemporary Aboriginal storytelling as well as the truly international life experiences of our writers as we travel with characters through Indonesia, Iran and Sri Lanka. Other selected titles are books where science and art intersect to provoke solutions to the challenges facing society today.’


Which ones I’ve read:

The Choke by Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)

*Titles linked to my reviews


Which ones I’d like to read:

The Green Bell: A Memoir of Love, Madness and Poetry by Paula Keogh (Affirm Press)

The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe (Seizure)

Tracker by Alexis Wright (Giramondo)

Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman (Hachette Australia)

Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness by Kate Cole-Adams (Text Publishing)


My Impressions:

The list is varied this year, covering a lot of different styles and interests. My instinct is backing The Choke by Sofie Laguna, but I haven’t read all of the titles so this is based on nothing substantial whatsoever! I will eagerly await news of the shortlist.


The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing and an organisation that champions cultural change.

Visit The Stella Prize website to find out more about the books that made the long list and further details about the prize.


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10 thoughts on “My Reading Life: The 2018 Stella Prize Longlist

      • They all do for me really. I think the range is the special thing about Stella but this year probably is more diverse isn’t it. Last year seemed non-fiction heavy and not as “diverse” in our meaning of the term.

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      • The bookclub met yesterday. They are going to read The Life to Come as our longlist pick. This is great news for me because I read it in January and feel as though I am organised for the next bookclub already! It’s got such a lot in it that it should be good for discussion. That was one of the things that struck me about The Life to Come – so many concepts for conversation to springboard from. It just doesn’t flow though like a traditional novel so it can take a bit to ‘get into’. We’ll see how it holds up under bookclub scrutiny.

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      • Great Theresa, I usually prefer my book club to do something I haven’t read, but our next one Is one I’ve read, The sympathizer, and I feel good knowing I’ve no pressure. I haven’t read The life to come yet but what you say about it makes sense from my reading of her last, Questions of travel. Many angles and tangents.

        Liked by 1 person

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