Longlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize

Blueberries – Ellena Savage

Nonfiction · Text Publishing


About the book

Sometimes I think it’s possible to live with anything. That we’re wired to survive-survive-survive, to grip onto the gnarliest thread until life is pried from our bones. Other times I think, it’s not possible to live at all. Not at all.

Blueberries could be described as a collection of essays, the closest term available for a book that resists classification: a blend of personal essay, polemic, prose poetry, true-crime journalism and confession that considers a fragmented life, reflecting on what it means to be a woman, a body, an artist. It is both a memoir and an interrogation of memoir. It is a new horizon in storytelling.

In crystalline prose, Savage explores the essential questions of the examined life: what is it to desire? What is it to accommodate oneself to the world? And at what cost?

“In form and in content, Blueberries is exquisite.”

– 2021 Stella Prize Judges

ellena savage

About the author

Ellena Savage

Ellena Savage is an author, teacher, and student. Blueberries is her debut essay collection. Ellena is currently studying Greek and researching a new book in Athens, with support from the Marten Bequest. Blueberries was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.

Further Reading


“Blueberries is clever, candid, and thoroughly fresh.” Rosalind Moran, ArtsHub

“Savage deftly shifts between stylistic devices, narrative voices and time, and the result is breathtaking.” Roz Bellamy, The Guardian

“Defying categorisation, Blueberries is unlike much else in Australian writing at the moment, and heralds Savage as a major new voice in experimental nonfiction.” The Saturday Paper


Read ‘Portrait of the Writer as Worker (after Dieter Lesage)’ by Ellena Savage, Meanjin

Listen to ‘Take Home Reading: Ellena Savage’ via The Wheeler Centre

Read ‘FWF Q&A: Ellena Savage’ via the Feminist Writers Festival

Judges’ report

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