2024 Stella Prize shortlist videos

Stella presents Body Friend, performed by Maria Angelico.

Body Friend

Writer and actor Maria Angelico takes us to a scene from Katherine Brabon’s novel Body Friend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiNec4saCNY&t=54s

Body Friend by Katherine Brabon | performed by Maria Angelico

Actor Maria Angelico performs an excerpt from Body Friend, the third novel by award-winning writer Katherine Brabon.

About the book: A woman leaves the hospital after an operation and starts swimming in a pool in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. There she meets Frida, who is uncannily like her in her experience of illness. Soon after, she meets another woman in a local park, Sylvia, who sees her pain and encourages her to rest. The two new friends seem to be polar opposites: Frida adores the pool and the natural world, Sylvia clings to the protection of interior worlds. What begins as two seemingly simple friendships is challenged by what each woman asks of her, of themselves, and their bodies. Read more …

About the actor: Maria is an award-winning actor, writer and artist based in Australia. She works extensively on screen, most notably in Netflix’s series Sisters; Binge original Strife, ABC’s The Newsreader; Netflix’s Stateless, ABC’s Retrograde, Blizzards’ World of Warcraft and in her recent debut one woman show, The Disappearing Act at the Malthouse Theatre for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022. Maria recently wrapped filming feature film Birthright.

Filmed and edited by Samantha Meuleman

Produced by Fiona Sweet and Claudia Nankervis

Make up: Annie Rose Foretti for for MECCA M-POWER

“I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t really believe that I’d be allowed to, in the same way that I wasn’t allowed to play footy, even though I loved it and stole every moment of game time that I could. The more accessible authors are, the more accessible the idea of writing becomes.”

What do you think or hope the benefits of the Stella Prize Schools Program, and the recommended texts will be for students?

Fair and proportional representation among books that reflect Australia’s truly diverse society – on every level, whether that be culture, religion, sexuality, ability, any perceived ‘difference’. Not just because it’s right and fair, or because I believe in equality, but because anything less than this robs the next generation of a rich and full understanding of the world. And because as someone much smarter than me said, every child should be able to find themselves in stories.

What Australian authors should young readers get to know?

Kate Grenville, Rebecca Lim, Melissa Keil, Sally Rippin, Stella (Miles) Franklin, Tony Birch… That’s a good start.

What advice would you give to young aspiring writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on, and write every day.

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2024 Past Judges

Beejay Silcox – Chair Beejay is a writer, literary critic, and the Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. Her reviews and …

Meet our partners: Kat Francis – managing director at Canyon We sat down with Kat Francis, managing director at Canyon, to talk …

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