Spaning fiction, nonfiction, social history, a book-length essay, a graphic novel, and – eligible for the first time in 2022 – poetry, six bold and compelling books by Australian women and non-binary writers are in the running for the tenth annual Stella Prize.
The six titles selected are evidence of the extraordinary calibre of work being published by Australian women and non-binary writers, with half of the shortlisted books written by debut authors. In alphabetical order by author surname, the 2022 Stella Prize shortlist is:
- TAKE CARE by Eunice Andrada (Giramondo Publishing)
- Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen (University of Queensland Press)
- No Document by Anwen Crawford (Giramondo Publishing)
- Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)
- Stone Fruit by Lee Lai (Fantagraphics)
- Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (Magabala Books)
The Stella Prize judges;:award-winning Bundjalung author Melissa Lucashenko (Chair), Declan Fry, Cate Kennedy, Sisonke Msimang, and Oliver Reeson – have selected six exemplary and distinctive books for the 2022 Stella Prize shortlist, from over 220 entries.
“The 2022 Stella Prize shortlist is big on emerging voices writing in unconventional ways – from regions, positions, and literary forms that transcend the mainstream,” said Melissa Lucashenko.
“These authors are writing back, insisting that ‘other’ lives – First Nations lives, poor women’s lives, queer lives, and Filipina lives – matter on the page just as they do in everyday affairs.”
“Although the shortlisted authors vary widely in location, gender, and culture, they all share two things. First, all six shortlistees undertake the essential work of any artist: paying attention to what is happening around them, and interrogating that experience.”
“Second, the authors have produced powerfully beautiful literature, sacrificing no art in their unflinching focus on justice, inclusion, and truth-telling. It has been a great pleasure as well as an honour, to shine a light on these six brilliant talents,” said Lucashenko.
“The 2022 Stella Prize shortlist includes six distinctly bold and compelling new works by Australian women and non-binary writers,” said Jaclyn Booton, Executive Director of the Stella.
“Experimental in genre and form, there’s something for every reader on this year’s shortlist – including for the first time in 2022, poetry collections. I congratulate the shortlisted writers, and look forward to seeing their books front and centre in Australian bookstores.”
In 2022 each of the Stella Prize shortlisted authors receive $4,000 in prize money. This is an increase on previous years ($2,000) thanks to the generous support and commitment of the Trawalla Foundation.
“The Trawalla Foundation has been a longstanding supporter of Stella because it’s critical to proactively foster inclusive and equal representation in Australian literature,” said Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of the Trawalla Foundation.
“Well done to the amazing group of women and non-binary writers being celebrated in the 2022 shortlist, and thank you to everyone in the Stella community for supporting and lifting up new and diverse voices.”
The winner of the tenth annual Stella Prize will be announced on Thursday 28 April. The winning author receives $50,000 thanks to the generous support of the Wilson Foundation. For more information, visit: www.stella.org.au for details.
Image: 2022 Stella Prize Shortlist (supplied)