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Steam Pigs

Melissa Lucashenko’s first novel makes no apologies. With direct and gutsy language, her characters live their lives in the shadows cast by indifferent affluence.

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I haven’t got a ‘boyfriend’ Mum.
Fine way to be carrying on then, out all Sat’dy night with a strange fella…
Don’t you marm me, my girl. When I was your age I wasn’t out running around with any stray bloke with a flash car and the gift of the gab.
And when I’m your age, thought Sue maliciously, I won’t be ringing up my kids to scab money and make their lives a misery into the bargain.

Sue Wilson, young and Aboriginal, escapes her ‘too-large, too-poor family in a too-small’ north Queensland town for Logan City’s frontier sprawl. Entering ‘the mythic world of Work’ she discovers that the view from behind the bar is less than glamorous, but pays the rent. When she meets Roger the good times begin to roll until she finds herself starring in a feature with medium level violence.

Melissa Lucashenko
Photo by LaVonne Bobongie

Melissa Lucashenko

Melissa Lucashenko is a Goorie author of Bundjalung and European heritage. She has been publishing books with the University of Queensland Press since 1997, with her first novel, Steam Pigs, winning the Dobbie Literary Award and being shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Hard Yards (UQP, 1999) was shortlisted for The Courier-Mail Book of the Year and in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and Mullumbimby (UQP, 2013) won the Queensland Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Award, and was longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She has also written two novels for teenagers: Killing Darcy (UQP, 1998) and Too Flash (IAD Press, 2002). In 2013 Melissa won the inaugural long-form Walkley Award for her Griffith REVIEW essay ‘Sinking below sight: Down and out in Brisbane and Logan’.

Too Much Lip won the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance. It was also shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Stella Prize, two Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, two Queensland Literary Awards and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and was longlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards.