Celebrating the 2017 Stella Prize Shortlist: Georgia Blain
Celebrating the 2017 Stella Prize Shortlist: Georgia Blain [The Stella Prize]

STELLA SHORTLIST SPOTLIGHT
Georgia Blain:
Between a Wolf and a Dog

Each week until the announcement of the 2017 Stella Prize winner on Tuesday 18 April, one of the books on this year's shortlist will be highlighted. CLICK HERE for further information regarding the Stella Prize 2017 Shortlist.

Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn.

Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence's reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April's mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.

Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us — our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.

Georgia Blain

Georgia Blain published novels for adults and young adults, essays, short stories, and a memoir. Her first novel was the bestselling Closed for Winter, which was made into a feature film. Her books have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the NSW, Victorian, and SA Premiers' Literary Awards, and the Nita B. Kibble Award for her memoir Births Deaths Marriages. Georgia's most recent works include The Secret Lives of Men, Too Close to Home, and the YA novel Darkwater. In 2016, in addition to Between a Wolf and a Dog, Georgia published the YA novel Special (Penguin Random House Australia). Georgia passed away in December 2016.

Judges' report

Between a Wolf and a Dog is an accomplished and sympathetic novel about love and motherhood, therapy, the impact of betrayal, and the choices that arise from acts of irresponsibility, or from careful deliberation. Ester is a therapist, advising her clients on the options available to them that they can't always see for themselves. Her ex-husband, Lawrence, is a pollster who manipulates his data for the thrill of transgression, but who is ultimately required to perform an unselfish and difficult act. Between a Wolf and a Dog is Georgia Blain's final novel, and it is a triumph: finely structured, suspenseful and morally acute.

Georgia Blain
Between a Wolf and a Dog
Scribe Publications

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