Heat and Light


9780702253218Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award.

Winner of the 2014 Dobbie Literary Prize.

Winner of the 2016 NSW Premiers Literary Award – Indigenous Writers Prize.

In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes readers on a journey that is achingly real.

Over three parts, van Neerven takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In ‘Heat’, we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In ‘Water’, van Neerven offers a futuristic imagining of a people whose existence is under threat. While in ‘Light’,  familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging.

Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.


 ‘A stunning debut from a young writer of immense potential.’ Melissa Lucashenko, author of Mullumbimby

A bold and adventurous work. This is a very fine debut from a talented writer.’ Books+Publishing

 ‘Ellen van Neerven produces writing with a rare imaginative force.’ Australian Book Review

‘My book of the year was the short story collection Heat and Light by the young Queensland writer Ellen van Neerven. The stories evoke mystery and sensuality in equal measure, while the vivid portrait of landscape leaves the taste of dust in your throat and fear in your heart.’ Tony Birch for Australian Book Review Books of the Year 2014

‘Few succeed to the extent that exists between the pages of Heat and Light. [A] remarkable young talent.Readings Monthly

‘From one story to the next, the content is significant and the writing is beautiful and clever.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘My favourite read by far this year. A breathtaking work of art.’ Ceridwen Dovey for the Weekend Australian

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