Annie has never felt more at home than surrounded by hundreds of books. She has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember, starting at age four with George's Marvellous Medicine. Now all grown up, she loves to read the weird and wonderful stories of the likes of Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, Scarlett Thomas and Dave Eggers. Really, she's just a sucker for any well-crafted story. A self-confessed Francophile, she has a degree in French as well as one in English and would love to talk to you about your next trip abroad. Currently, she is completing a post-grad in Professional Communications and publishing an online magazine that celebrates literature and art in her spare time.
Established in 1996, The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the most prestigious yearly book award honouring women’s fiction in the United Kingdom, and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The winner of the prize receives £30,000, along with a bronze statuette known as the ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven.
The Women’s Prize for Fiction nominees and overall winner are decided on by a panel of judges, which this year includes Martha Lane Fox, Melanie Eusebe, Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train), Viv Groskop (How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking) and Scarlett Curtis (Feminists Don’t Wear Pink).
The longlist of 16 novels follow in alphabetical order by author’s surname:
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams Dominicana by Angie Cruz Actress by Anne Enright Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel Girl by Edna O’ Brien Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell Weather by Jenny Offill The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
The 2020 Stella Prize Longlist is a testament to the quality and diversity of women’s writing in Australia. These remarkable works — both fiction and non-fiction, from Australian authors at all stages of their careers, and backed by our vibrant publishing sector — demonstrate how essential the voices and perspectives of women are. It’s all here: family, gender, politics, history, place, language, culture, and community – making the longlist as a whole both deeply local, and ambitiously global. The 2020 shortlist will be announced on Friday 6 March.
Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate this country’s incredible talent and the role independent booksellers play in supporting and nurturing Australian writing. The Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner will be announced on Monday 23 March 2020 in Brisbane.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Over the summer break I read two big fat engrossing reads that couldn’t be otherwise more different (except that they’ve both won the Man Booker Prize).
Wolf Hall is the first in a captivating trilogy (soon to be complete) that follows the life of Thomas Cromwell. Mantel has clearly researched her subject deeply and one is immersed in the royal court during one of its most tumultuous periods – separation of England from Rome and Henry VIII’s succession of wives. Although it is set in the 16th century, the characters leap to life immediately and what struck me was how thoroughly relevant and modern it seemed. The political machinations, greed and personal enmity that drives many of the decisions made throughout the book seem to find a mirror in the cut-throat political landscape of today.
The depiction of Cromwell’s character, however, is what really endeared me to the book. His difficult childhood, the love he had for his wife and children, and the home he fostered for many waiflings or other rejected children stand in stark contrast to the violent and conniving portrait we are presented with in the history books. Women, too, get more credit than usual through Mantel’s lens as we see the scope of women’s influence; for example, Anne Boleyn using what subtle tools she has to rise to power. Mantel’s third book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, has just been released and I’m so excited to dive into some more meaty historical fiction.
A much more 21st century book is the winner of this year’s Booker Prize, Girl, Woman, Other: a chorus of voices that weaves together to create a whole. We meet 12 different people over the course of the book, mostly women, mostly black, in London and its surrounds. Evaristo creates an enchanting portrait of each person as we fill in their backstory to understand where they have come from and how that dictates where they end up. Egos jostle together with understated personalities and the qualities of each person are displayed alongside their foibles and biases, even if they can’t fully recognise these traits as such. Often collections of stories struggle to form a coherent whole, but this narrative comes together pleasingly as you place each person within the ecosystem of the novel. A great book club read full of entertaining and diverse voices.
Welcoming the Unwelcome by Pema Chodron and The Reunion by Fred Uhlman
Two books from my summer reading are gems to be shared. Whilst I was struggling with the horrors of the fires and feeling anxious and concerned and quite helpless I read Pema Chodron’s latest book. Welcoming the Unwelcome not only reminded me to continue with my meditation practice but also gave me a way to keep feeling connected with others and compassionate in hard times. Her wisdom and experience is perfect for these heartbreaking times.
I also read a 1960 classic, Fred Uhlman’s The Reunion and thank you to the lovely customer who made me aware of this little book. It is somewhat autobiographical and tells the intense story of a friendship between two schoolboys, one a Jew and the other a Christian. Set in Germany just as Hitler and anti-semitism is rising, the tension between the two teenagers becomes excruciating. Hans, the Jewish boy is sent to New York by his family to keep him safe. The book is beautiful and sad and at just 74 pages, is a perfect story of friendship, loss, betrayal and growing up.
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
I was planning to write about Girl, Woman, Other but Annie beat me to it. I can’t recommend it enough, it is a fabulous book. Also a fabulous read that challenges preconceptions of gender and sexuality is Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor. Paul can morph into any body he likes, crossing gender and sexuality borders to fit his mood of the moment. This is an adventurous and hilarious romp through Paul’s adventures in partying, politics, making zines, leather bars, women only music festivals, travelling from New York City to Iowa to Provincetown.
Lawlor explores queer struggles and pleasure in this charming coming-of-age speculative fiction. What I found most interesting is how Paul changes in personality as his body changed. Andrea Lawlor is coming to Writers’ Week and I’m looking forward to getting more insight into where this idea came from.
Books is looking for an experienced bookseller to join our small, delightful
team on a casual basis. We can offer the right person 10 hours a week with
scope to increase as the year goes on. As a community bookstore that has been independently
run for over 40 years, we pride ourselves on our friendly and personalised customer
A passion for books and reading and a desire to share in the literary conversation with our community
Solid history of retail experience, with at least one year spent in a bookshop
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Flexible and reliable – available to work weekends and extra shifts as needed
Has initiative, drive and the ability to multitask
Can work independently and contribute to the warm and creative environment that we foster
Good computer literacy
Experience with e-bility point-of-sale system (or any other bookselling POS), bookselling databases, social media, digital newsletters or websites will be looked upon favourably
An existing connection with the bookshop or the Mitcham community is desirable
Customer service – locating, recommending, ordering and selling books across genres and to a wide range of readers
All aspects of stock management, including receiving, shelving, display curation and presentation, picking returns, maintaining store appearance
Please provide a one-page maximum cover letter with your
resume, summarising your relevant skills and workplace experience, along with
why you believe you are a great fit for the job. Applications should be
sent to email@example.com
by COB Wednesday January 15.
Applications that do not meet the minimum requirements
for employment will not be accepted.