Evie Wyld has just taken out the Stella Prize, which was set up to celebrate Australian women's writing, with her novel The Bass Rock. This book, set in England and Scotland, is a gothic tale which entwines the narratives of women from different generations, and it lasers in on male violence which surrounds us all, and is inescapable - the violence of the past, as well as the now. While Wyld tackles the subject head-on, she also employs some very clever sleight-of-hand. Some of it you don't recognise, until the moment has passed, much like in life. Violence isn't always physical brutality, but also gaslighting, manipulation, stalking and emotional abuse. She never engages too graphically or gratuitously with the subject, but it's there on a visceral level - very much like a bad smell, or a terribly ominous presence.
The Stella Prize is worth $50,000 to the prize-winning author, and the shortlist was:
Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs
Revenge: Murder in Three Parts by S L Lim
The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay
Witness by Louise Milligan
Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe