Author(s): Emily Bitto
The winner of the 2015 Stella Prize has been reformatted in a gorgeous hardback with a jacket cover, just in time for Christmas.
On her first day at a new school, Lily befriends one of the daughters of infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are trying to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work at their family home. Lily becomes infatuated with this wild, makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.
As the years pass, Lily observes the way the lives of these artists come to reflect the same themes as their art: Faustian bargains and spectacular falls from grace. Yet it's not Evan, but his own daughters, who pay the price for his radicalism.
The Strays is an engrossing story of ambition, sacrifice and compromised loyalties from an exciting new talent.
Emily Bitto lives in Melbourne. She has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Meanjin, Island, HEAT, The Age, The Saturday Paper, and The Sydney Morning Herald.Emily is an obsessive reader, music fan, cook and dog-carer (having fostered 11 rescue dogs in one year). She also co-owns and runs Carlton wine-bar, Heartattack and Vine.