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Explore the writers of the 2015 Stella Prize shortlist

Read Friday, 13 Mar 2015

The 2015 Stella Prize shortlist was announced yesterday, gathering an exciting collection of works by six fine Australian women writers. We’ve put together a weekend selection of Broadcasts and Notes to help you get to know these writers better.

Image: The 2015 Stella Prize shortlist
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Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette)

In Foreign Soil, Maxine Beneba Clarke explores displacement, issues of class and race, and the power of speech. She’s currently hosting our series exploring contemporary feminism and for the first of that series, spoke last week with Haitian-American essayist and novelist Roxane Gay about many of the themes familiar to both writers. Last month, Maxine performed a poem inspired by Maya Angelou at On Five. A Gala Night of Storytelling, which you can watch here

The Strays by Emily Bitto (Affirm Press)

In June, we interviewed Emily Bitto about her love of Peter Pan, the self-loathing that comes when you haven’t produced anything tangible after a bout of writing, and why a literature degree is just as good an education for a writer as a creative writing degree. All insights gleaned from the work of writing The Strays, we suspect. Read more here. 

The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally (Black Inc)

Back in 2013, Christine Keneally presented a talk as part of our School of Life Melbourne Secular Sermon Series — exploring the nature of contemporary misinformation, and how we can discern whether we’re being lied to by figures in the media. You can also watch (or listen) to her conversations with Canadian journalist (and pirate specialist) Jay Bahadur, and economics storyteller Sylvia Nasar — conversations representative of the breadth and complexity of material she wrangles into such readable form in The Invisible History of the Human Race.

The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin)

Way back at the beginning of the Wheeler Centre, Sofie Laguna read from her first book for adults — One Foot Wrong — at one of our first events for the same. 

The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House)

Joan London’s ability to weave place and time into her books is evident in The Golden Age, set in post-war Perth. Previously, she spoke with Jason Steger, Ross Mueller and Andrea Goldsmith about how a city’s landscape can translate to the page.

Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven (UQP)

Like Maxine Beneba Clarke, Ellen van Neerven also appeared at this year’s Gala Night of Storytelling — and her story, on the difference five minutes can make, reflects the vast, elemental quality of her writing in Heat and Light.

She was also a guest at the launch of McSweeney’s 41: Australian Aboriginal Fiction Edition, which you can watch below.

You can find out more about the 2015 Stella Prize shortlist at the Stella Prize website. The prize will be awarded on Tuesday 21 April.

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