Which  Prize-Winning Books Are Worth Reading in 2021?



Now That I See You

by Emma Batchelor

They are young, they are in love, they have a mortgage. So far, so the Australian dream. But things are not what they seem. Jess is more comfortable dressing as a woman.

Winner: the 2021 Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award Reviewed by Lauren Sams, author and AFR fashion editor


by Susanna Clarke

Styled as journal entries written by a man who lives in a house so large it has its own weather systems. He is almost entirely alone, save for weekly visits from a man he calls the Other.

Winner: Women’s Prize for Fiction Reviewed by Sheree Strange, writer and book reviewer


by Julia Baird

This book, which dips into memoir, self-help, science, theology, family, Indigenous culture and sea swimming, is luminous and clear-sighted.

Winner: Book of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards Reviewed by Naomi Chrisoulakis, freelance writer

A Room Made  of Leaves

by Kate Grenville

Traces the history of young Elizabeth Veale, who married the pompous, volatile Macarthur and followed him to the penal colony of Sydney Town… a powerful interrogation of femininity, patriarchy, and colliding cultures.

Winner: Christina Stead Prize for Fiction Reviewed by Sheree Strange, writer and book reviewer

The Bass Rock

by Evie Wyld

Follows the lives of three women who all live in the shadow of Bass Rock, on Scotland’s rugged coast, but at different periods in time… The thread that connects all three stories is the constant and ancient threat of male violence.

Winner: The Stella Prize for Women Reviewed by Anna Saunders, PRIMER co-founder

The Animals in  that Country

by Laura Jean McKay

A no-nonsense grandmother is forced to leave her remote wildlife park after a mysterious flu infects her son, Lee. Those infected develop the ability to communicate with animals.

Winner: Victorian Prize for Literature and the  Arthur C. Clarke Award Reviewed by Sheree Strange, writer and book reviewer

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