Announcing the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize:
Evie Wyld for The Bass Rock
22 April 2021
Stella is delighted to announce Evie Wyld's gothic tale of toxic masculinity, The Bass Rock, as the 2021 Stella Prize winner.
The $50,000 Prize, sponsored by the Wilson Foundation, was awarded tonight 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 (Rebecca Giggs, S.L. Lim, Laura Jean McKay, Louise Milligan, Mirandi Riwoe and Evie Wyld), 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 explores the legacy of male violence and the ways in which these traumas ripple and reverberate across time and place for three central female characters. 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.