Award-winning Australian novelist Michelle de Kretser’s new book, Scary Monsters, has been shortlisted for this year’s Rathbones Folio Prize for fiction.
The book has two covers and contains two first-person narratives, one set in 1981 and the other in a dystopian near-future; the order in which they are read is left to the reader.
The judges described it as “a sublime novel that slips, fascinates and terrifies at once… [it] deserves to be read again and again.”
Each category winner, selected from a shortlist of four, will receive a £2,000 prize and one book will then be crowned overall Rathbones Folio Prize winner, with the author receiving an additional £30,000. The Winners will be announced on Monday 27 March.
About the book:
Lyle works for a sinister government department in near-future Australia. An Asian migrant, he fears repatriation and embraces ‘Australian values’. He’s also preoccupied by his ambitious wife, his wayward children and his strong-minded elderly mother.
Lili’s family migrated to Australia from Asia when she was a teenager. Now, in the 1980s, she’s teaching in the south of France. She makes friends, observes the treatment handed out to North African immigrants and is creeped out by her downstairs neighbour.
Three scary monsters – racism, misogyny and ageism – roam through this mesmerising novel. Its reversible format enacts the disorientation that migrants experience when changing countries changes the story of their lives.