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Smart Ovens for Lonely People : Longlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize - Elizabeth Tan

Smart Ovens for Lonely People

Longlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize

By: Elizabeth Tan

Paperback | 1 June 2020

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Conspiracies, memes, and therapies of various efficacy underpin this beguiling short-story collection from Elizabeth Tan.

In the titular story, a cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life. Four girls gather to celebrate their underwear in ‘Happy Smiling Underwear Girls Party’, a hilarious take-down of saccharine advertisements.

With her trademark wit and slicing social commentary, Elizabeth Tan’s short stories are as funny as they are insightful. This collection cements her role as one of Australia’s most inventive writers.
Industry Reviews
'The term "experimental fiction" can be used to cover a multitude of sins ... When it works, though, we have novels in the tradition of Kafka, Woolf and Foster Wallace. The very best experimental writers have an inspired and weird way of seeing the world that makes much realist fiction seem moribund. Elizabeth Tan's debut novel-in-stories, Rubik, is in the latter category: it's wonderful, brilliant and mind-bending, and a worthy heir to the experimental tradition.' -The Saturday Paper

'Recalling the wit and social commentary of Julie Koh's Portable Curiosities alongside the surreal connected-universe storytelling of Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, Rubik is a shot in the arm of Australian fiction...' -Books and Publishing

'Tan's careful layering and nuanced craft will gain a strong following among fans of experimental narratives.' -Publishers Weekly