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The Novel Prize

Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au wins The Novel Prize

Giramondo Publishing, with fellow publishers Fitzcarraldo Editions and New Directions, is pleased to announce that Melbourne-based writer Jessica Au has won The Novel Prize for her work Cold Enough for Snow.

We are especially pleased that an Australian author is the inaugural winner of The Novel Prize. Jessica’s novel was selected from an international field of almost 1500 submissions.

The Novel Prize is a biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published and unpublished writers around the world. The prize recognises works which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style. It offers US$10,000 to the winner and simultaneous publication by Giramondo Publishing in Australia and New Zealand, by Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK and Ireland, and by New Directions in North America. 

In Cold Enough for Snow a daughter takes her mother on a visit to Tokyo. They walk the canals at night, escape the typhoon rains, share meals in small restaurants and visit galleries in an itinerary planned by the daughter. All the while, they talk: of the weather, of clothes and objects, of family, migration and memory. But who is really speaking, and what is the real purpose of their journey? Cold Enough for Snow is at once a reckoning and an elegy, one which questions how we can know another’s inner world.

Jessica Au’s first novel, Cargo, was published by Picador in 2011 and was highly commended in the Kathleen Mitchell Award for a writer under 30. She is the former deputy editor of Meanjin, and is currently an associate editor at Aeon.

Cold Enough for Snow
, her second novel, will be published early in 2022.

The Novel Prize 2020 shortlist

The shortlist for the prize, selected from close to 1500 submissions worldwide, was: 

Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow, in which a daughter and mother travel together to Tokyo. Elliptical and elegiac, the novel questions whether we can speak a common language, and what right we have to truly know another’s inner world. Jessica Au is a writer based in Melbourne. Her first novel Cargo (2011) was published by Picador and was highly commended in the Kathleen Mitchell Award for a writer under 30. She is the former deputy editor of Meanjin, and is currently an associate editor at Aeon. Cold Enough for Snow is her second novel.

Glenn Diaz’s Yñiga, a novel in which a former university teacher’s life is upended when an army general wanted for the murder of activists and peasants goes into hiding in her Manila neighborhood. Glenn Diaz’s first book The Quiet Ones (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2017) won the Palanca Grand Prize, the Madrigal-Gonzalez First Book Award, and the Philippine National Book Award. Born and raised in Manila, he is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Emily Hall’s The Longcut, a novel in the first person about the place of art and the artist in the world, asking how, in a time when art can be about anything and made of anything, do you figure out what your work is. Emily Hall is an editor at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has been a contributor to Artforum since 2003 and before that was the full-time art critic at The Stranger. She has also written for Dwell and the New York Times Book Review. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in New York, where she was born and raised.

Christine Lai’s Landscapes, set in both contemporary England and in a near future fraught with ecological devastation and geopolitical upheaval, explores the work of remembering and the possibility of repair. Christine Lai is a Chinese-Canadian writer, based in Vancouver. She holds a PhD in English Literature from University College London, and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge.

Nora Lange’s Us Fools, a tragicomic family drama narrated over two decades by two precocious sisters, beginning with the Midwestern farm crisis in the 1980s, and ambitiously layering in our collective preoccupations and obsessions in their search for a better future. writing has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, The Believer, Joyland, American Short Fiction, Denver Quarterly, The Fairy Tale Review, Hobart, The Morning News, Juked, LIT, HTMLGIANT, The Hairpin, Two Serious Ladies and elsewhere. Her project Dailyness was longlisted for the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers. She received an MFA from Brown University’s Literary Arts Program, where she was a Kaplan Fellow.

Lani Yamamoto’s Ours and Others’, a metaphysical mystery of sorts in two parts. In the first, the child of a fallen cult leader tracks an escaped sibling through an endless forest; in the second, the amnesic narrator wakes in a strange, desolate land, and tries to piece together the past. Lani Yamamoto has written and illustrated six children’s books, published in fourteen languages. Her work has been nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, the Icelandic Literary Prize for Children’s and YA Books, the Reykjavík Children’s Book Prize, and the Italian Scelte di Classe Award. She holds a BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College, and master’s degrees in both creative writing and the study of religions from the University of Oxford. From the US, she has lived in Iceland for twenty-five years.

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