The Stella Prize Shortlist, 2014, has been announced.

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 The Stella Prize 2014 shortlist has been announced.  Three works of fiction, three of nonfiction: six great books by Australian women.

 Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonssonm, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's illfated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?


Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson
A powerful family memoir from the award-winning author of The China Garden Kristina Olsson's mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950.
 Night Games by Anna Krien
The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface. By morning, the head of the sexual crimes squad confirmed to journalists that they were preparing to question two Collingwood players...And so, as police were confiscating bedsheets from a townhouse in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, the trial by media began.
 The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
An elderly Australian woman lets a mysterious and possibly sinister caretaker into her beach-side home and into her life. The debut of a remarkable Australian talent, The Night Guest is a mesmerising novel about trust, love, dependence, and the fear that the things you know best can become the things you're least certain about. One morning Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea, but in fact she's come to care for Ruth. Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem. Which of them can Ruth trust? And, as memories of her childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, can she even trust herself? The Night Guest introduces a writer who comes to us fully formed, working wonders with language, renewing our faith in the power of fiction to tap the mysterious workings of our minds, and keeping us spellbound.

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright
 The story of the Eureka rebellion may be one of modern Australia's foundation myths, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there. As Clare Wright reveals, there were any number of women at large on the goldfields, many of them active in pivotal roles.









The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
This book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright's previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.


Congratulations to all those nominated for this prestigious prize. You can read an excerpt from each of these books at the Stella Prize shortlist sampler. You can also request copies of each of these books from the Library.
Who do you think should win?

The 2014 Stella Prize will be awarded in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 29 April. The winner will receive $50,000.

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