Longlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize

In My Mother’s Hands – Biff Ward

Nonfiction · Allen & Unwin

In my mothers hands

About the book

“Ward’s story of her family, and especially of her mother, is full of insight and frank intelligence.

– 2015 Stella Prize Judges

About the author

Biff Ward

Further Reading


“For anyone who has ever complained about a difficult mother, or written a memoir about one, this is a humbling book … I found it difficult to get out of my head days after reading it.” – Sheila Fitzpatrick, Australian Book Review

“In My Mother’s Hands is an extraordinary memoir. Ward hides nothing from her readers, neither her own seesawing emotions nor her mother’s increasingly frustrating and dangerous temperament and her father’s sense of self-preservation. Sympathy, pity, confusion, anger and love radiate from her prose, as fresh and raw as they must have been 60 years ago.” – Kylie Mason, Newtown Review of Books

“Captures without artifice the social mores of the times and that peculiar Australian tone which was this country’s take on the 1950s and 1960s.” – Helen Crompton, the West Australian

Judges’ report

Explore the latest from Stella

Find out more about the 2024 Stella Prize shortlist The six books that make up the 2024 Stella Prize shortlist are urgent, …

Letter from the 2024 Stella Prize chair Did you know that the 2024 Stella Prize longlist took less than 20 minutes to …

In our 2024 Stella Prize shortlist videos, Stella pairs the six outstanding shortlisted books for this year’s prize with six outstanding actors …

Help change the story

As a not-for-profit organisation with ambitious goals, Stella relies on the generous support of donors to help fund our work.

Every donation is important to us and allows Stella to continue its role as the leading voice for gender equality and cultural change in Australian literature.

Stella is a not-for-profit organisation with DGR status. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.