Posted by: Lisa Hill | February 7, 2019

2019 Stella Prize Longlist

The 2019 Stella Prize Longlist was announced today:

Little Gods by Jenny Ackland, see my review

Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop, on my TBR

Bluebottle by Belinda Castles, see Theresa Smith’s review

The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo, see my review

The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper, see my review

The Death of Noah Glass by Gail Jones

Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau, see Amanda’s review at Whispering Gums and Kim’s at Reading Matters

The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie, see Kim’s review at Reading Matters and make sure you read Kate’s at Books Are My Favourite and Best as well.

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee, see Kate’s review at Books are My Favourite and Best

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko, see my review

Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin, see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums and Kim’s at Reading Matters

The World Was Whole by Fiona Wright

The Shortlist will be announced on March 8th, and the winner on April 9th.

See the Judges report here.

PS I’m very disappointed that Shell isn’t listed.



  1. I’ve just got home from seeing Evita with our daughter – yes, we’re in Melbourne but it’s double birthday time so once again free time is limited – and have finished my half-drafted post. I had 5 guessed right including Eggshell skull with Kate’s review linked and the Arsonist and Too much lip with your reviews linked. But, I had to replace The shell (and link to your review) with The bridge (and link to your review!!) Haha!

    I also had to remove a couple of my other guesses, including You daughters of freedom. Oh well, you can’t get them all right.

    Oh, and thanks for the link to my Axiomatic and Amanda’s Purple mountain reviews.


  2. I thought you’d be disappointed about Shell! For me, I would have loved to see The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan listed. Oh well!


  3. So surprised Shell wasn’t included – I’ve yet to read it but everything I’ve read about it has been wonderful. Anyway, I’m glad that I bought a copy in hardback because it is a beautiful book.

    I was disappointed that In the Garden of the Fugitives didn’t make it.


    • Yes, and you know, I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something a bit ungracious about the judges report? As in, we wanted this and this and this, but we didn’t get it so here’s the longlist which is not really what we wanted…


      • Your comment sent me back to read it in full, rather than just the summary and I see what you mean. Do you think they are just throwing some hints out to the publishers to be bold with which books they choose to submit?


        • I can’t really read their meaning at all. I read a strange piece online this morning which was apparently the opening address at the awards: I was really surprised because I admire Emily Maguire but I was unimpressed when she used that lazy ‘dead white male’ epithet to have a go at ‘serious’ readers and ‘book snobs’. Beethoven is a dead white male, so are Claude Debussy and John Lennon. Rembrandt is a dead white male and so are Cezanne and Brett Whitely. Shakespeare is a dead white male and so are Emile Zola and Vasily Grossman. I’m tired of it all… I just like to read good books with something interesting to say about the world.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. That Shell is not included is very weird indeed – by far the best of those on the list I’ve read. Perhaps not eligible due to time of publication? Just noticed that you haven’t read/or reviewed The Death of Noah Glass. You’d love that, I reckon.


    • The omission of Shell is especially strange given this sentence in the judges’ report, which Kris Olsson’s book fully fits: ‘Ultimately, we chose books that strove for something big and fulfilled their own ambitions.’ I wonder whether it could have something to do with ‘judicial’ jealousy/competition?


    • I’ve never really got on with Gail Jones. I read Sixty Lights and Dreams of Speaking but I really didn’t like the heavy-handed symbolism. I keep buying or borrowing her new titles, but I don’t get round to reading them…
      But Shell? It ticks all the boxes, including Diversity because Olssen is of Swedish heritage. Or have I missed something about the meaning of Diversity?


      • I didn’t much like Jones’ previous novels either, but this one is great! And intelligent, like Olsson’s.


        • I have A Guide to Berlin, what did you think of that one?


          • Didn’t read that one. The Guardian slams it in a review, but makes it sound interesting at the same time.


            • I think she has a love-it-or-hate-it style, which makes reviews problematic. If the reviewer likes that style, she’ll love it. If she doesn’t, she won’t. Which means that if there is one that I might like, reading reviews isn’t going to help me find it.


              • Only one last comment on Jones: I agree with what you say about the two you originally mentioned, but The Death of Noah Glass is different in style and I was able to like it, probably because of that

                Liked by 1 person

  5. I read The Bridge after it made your end of year list and I am very excited that Enza is heading out to Gippsland tomorrow to speak about her book. We don’t get reputable authors out here very often.


    • Please give her my congratulations, I am delighted she’s made the longlist:)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] Da wir ja alle noch dringend Tipps und Empfehlungen brauchen, hier noch die Stella Prize Longlist. […]


  7. […] So, using as my starting point a couple of Lisa’s lists of prize-winners (here, here), the Stella Longlist, and your reviews, I am making up a wish list of my own, which I will take down to my local indie […]


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