Winner of the 2015 Stella Prize

The Strays – Emily Bitto

Fiction · Affirm Press

The Strays

About the book

The Strays is like a gemstone: polished and multifaceted, reflecting illuminations back to the reader and holding rich colour in its depths.

– 2015 Stella Prize Judges

Emily Bitto

About the author

Emily Bitto

Further Reading


“Treating this novel as an historical fiction risks missing some of its breadth of insight. The Strays is an eloquent portrayal of the damage caused by self-absorption as well as a moving study of isolation… Whatever may have inspired The Strays, the book is astute in the way it tells its story; it doesn’t need to be supported by anything outside itself.” – Michael McGirr, Sydney Morning Herald

“Bitto has created an elegantly formed, resonant novel, melding vivid images, an ear for dialogue, and a well-measured narrative pace with the current of humour that always runs through human tragedy. With delicacy and restraint, The Strays explores rich terrain – the violence and redemption of art, the ever-presence of personal history, and the interrogation of childhood selves by adult selves in search of understanding and absolution.” – Ruby Todd, TEXT Journal

“Poetic, richly visual and faultlessly judged in terms of pace, character and atmosphere, this is writing that has the rich patina of an enduring classic.” – Caroline Baum, Booktopia


Judges’ report

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