The $50,000 Prize, sponsored by the Wilson Foundation, was awarded on Thursday evening during a special evening of storytelling and ideas, hosted by much-loved stage and screen icon Noni Hazlehurst AM. The broadcast featured a response to the theme, “If They Could Talk: On Voice and Voicelessness”, from each of the six shortlisted authors, as well as a keynote address from Gamilaroi writer and academic Amy Thunig.
The Bass Rock is a novel that weaves together the lives of three women across four centuries. It’s about the legacy of male violence and the ways in which these traumas ripple and reverberate across time and place. Each woman’s choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life.
Zoya Patel, Chair of the 2021 Stella Judging Panel, says of the winning book:
“The Bass Rock is a consuming and perplexing book, one that forces the reader to think and engage with the unique narrative structure, but in a way that feels effortless, so engaged are you by the story. This is a novel that demonstrates the author's versatility of style, with the separate narrative parts each having an individual voice. And yet, at no point does the book feel disjointed. Instead, it is as though Evie Wyld has chosen each and every word with precision, building a novel that is a true work of art.”
A writer at the top of her game, and no stranger to awards, Evie Wyld’s 2021 Stella Prize Award comes in addition to her 2014 Miles Franklin Award. Of winning this year’s Prize, she says:
"To be in the company of writers as talented as the shortlist, and the longlist, has been a massive privilege and there is a huge amount to learn from all of their brilliant books. I thank them, and I thank my publishers around the world, my literary agent, and the wonderful team at Stella. This prize continues to say loudly that the work of women and non-binary writers matter. And for that I am extremely grateful."
About Evie Wyld
Evie Wyld grew up in Australia and the UK. She is part owner of Review, a small independent bookshop in London. Her first novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. In 2013 she was listed as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Evie’s second novel, All The Birds, Singing, won the 2014 Miles Franklin Award, the 2013 Encore Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her graphic novel with illustrator Joe Sumner, Everything Is Teeth, was published in 2015.
The Bass Rock is available in store and online now.