Set across multiple time periods, and with three distinct narrative voices throughout, this dazzling book by Evie Wyld blurs the line between the past and the present, the real and the imagined, the natural and the unnatural world.
Stella is delighted to announce Evie Wyld’s novel, The Bass Rock, as the 2021 Stella Prize winner.
The $50,000 Prize, sponsored by the Wilson Foundation, was awarded during a special evening of storytelling and ideas, hosted by much-loved stage and screen icon Noni Hazlehurst AM. The broadcast featured a response to the theme, “If They Could Talk: On Voice and Voicelessness”, from each of the six shortlisted authors, as well as a keynote address from Gamilaroi writer and academic Amy Thunig.
The Bass Rock is a novel that weaves together the lives of three women across four centuries. It explores the legacy of male violence and the ways in which these traumas ripple and reverberate across time and place for three central female characters. 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.
Chair of the 2021 Stella Prize Judging Panel, Zoya Patel, says of The Bass Rock:
“The Bass Rock is 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. 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.”
Stella is grateful to the ongoing support of the Trawalla Foundation, allowing each shortlisted author to receive $2,000 in addition to the $1,000 awarded to each longlisted author, thanks to the generous support of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
Eligible books were first published between 1 January and 30 December 2020 by women writers, and non-binary writers.
Missed the 2021 Stella Prize Award Night? Catch up on the evening of storytelling and ideas here: