The Stella Prize, worth $50,000, celebrates the best books by Australian women in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Evie Wyld received the award last night during a special evening of storytelling and ideas, hosted by much-loved stage and screen icon Noni Hazlehurst AM.
The Bass Rock is a novel that weaves together the lives of three women across four centuries. It’s about the legacy of male violence and the ways in which these traumas ripple and reverberate across time and place. Each woman’s choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life.
Judging panel chair Zoya Patel said the novel was ‘a consuming and perplexing book, one that forces the reader to think and engage with the unique narrative structure, but in a way that feels effortless, so engaged are you by the story’.
‘This is a novel that demonstrates the author’s versatility of style, with the separate narrative parts each having an individual voice,’ said Patel. ‘And yet, at no point does the book feel disjointed. Instead, it is as though Evie Wyld has chosen each and every word with precision, building a novel that is a true work of art.’
Wyld said of her win, ‘to be in the company of writers as talented as the shortlist, and the longlist, has been a massive privilege and there is a huge amount to learn from all of their brilliant books. I thank them, and I thank my publishers around the world, my literary agent, and the wonderful team at Stella. This prize continues to say loudly that the work of women and non-binary writers matter. And for that I am extremely grateful.’
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