Stella is delighted to announce The Jaguar by Sarah Holland-Batt, as the winner of the 2023 Stella Prize.
2023 Stella Prize Shortlist
2023 Stella Prize Longlist
The Australian publishing industry has really come back to life after the pandemic, and this year we were blown away by the creative risks taken by authors, poets, artists and publishers. Our longlist showcases the energy of this re-emergence. These works – assessed by us to be the most compelling and innovative – include fiction in its many genres (literary, historical, and speculative), a memoir, a biography, a graphic novel, investigative non-fiction and two books of poetry.
As judges, we paid careful attention to inventive and original use of language, the aesthetic beauty of the prose, the depth of research, its emotional punch, and how far this literature expands the parameters of our own worlds. The professional areas of expertise of my fellow judges are so diverse, and our judgments were informed and enhanced by this extended understanding of Stella’s criteria of ‘excellent, engaging and original’. Half of the longlist are published by small or independent publishers, demonstrating the importance of smaller presses in bringing out boundary-pushing work.
Our list covers universal themes of displacement, fear, inadequacy and love in specifically original ways. Our books are peopled by characters far-ranging and diverse as lapsed art dealers, ‘bad’ mothers, ageing parents, unacknowledged soldiers, big beautiful female theorists, melancholy ‘cyborgs’, gangster women, abattoir workers and investigative journalists. In these pages you will find pathos, rage, wild joyful swagger, a mourning of our own mortality but also a celebration of our finite selves. We are beyond excited to share this list with readers, and hope that you will find these works as outstanding as we did.
Alice Pung OAM
Chair, 2023 Stella Prize Judging Panel