Nominated by:

The State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The National Library of Australia, Canberra

Publisher of nominated edition:

University of Queensland Press, Australia

Mullumbimby

Melissa Lucashenko      

2015 Longlist

A darkly funny novel of romantic love and cultural warfare from one of Australia’s most admired Indigenous voices.

When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree change, and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors. What she discovers instead is sharp dissent from her teenage daughter, trouble brewing from unimpressed white neighbours and a looming Native Title war between the local Bundjalung families. When Jo unexpectedly finds love on one side of the Native Title divide she quickly learns that living on country is only part of the recipe for the Good Life.

Told with humour and a sharp satirical eye, Mullumbimby is a modern novel set against an ancient land.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Melissa Lucashenko is an Australian writer of European and Goorie heritage. She received an honours degree in public policy from Griffith University in 1990 and published her first novel, Steam Pigs, in 1997. It won the Dobbie Literary Award for Australian women’s fiction and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Steam Pigs was followed by the Aurora Prize-winning Killing Darcy, a novel for teenagers, and Hard Yards, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Courier-Mail Book of the Year and the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Too Flash, a teenage novel about class and friendship, was released in 2002. Mullumbimby won the 2013 Queensland Literary Award – Best Fiction, and was longlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize. Melissa lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation.

Librarians’ Comments

Mullumbimby explores what it means to live and belong in Australia. Rich with culture and Aboriginal language this is a novel that is generous in its depiction of contemporary life played out on an ancient land.

Mullumbimby tells the story of Jo Breen, a woman whose journey to reconnect with her country, is punctuated by her challenging relationship with her daughter, conflicts with local neighbours and a looming Native Title war that will see her question what is needed to create a fulfilled life. Award winning author, Melissa Lucashenko’s latest work is a powerful novel which delves into the themes of country and place, the relationships that bind us and the conflicts between Aboriginal and white cultures in Australia.

Related Entries