Engaging Australians with books and First Nations writing

    17 December 2019

    Australians enjoy reading and would like to do it more – reading books ranks higher than browsing the internet and watching television as the leisure activity Australians enjoy the most.

    Seven in ten think Australian books help us understand the country in which we live, and there is strong interest in books and writing about First Nations Australia. Reading literary fiction is proven to improve empathy and the vast majority of Australians believe books have a value that’s greater than their monetary cost.*

    Melissa Lucashenko​’s Too Much Lip is a contemporary novel about one family’s spirited responses to poverty and marginalisation in country NSW. It looks at intergenerational trauma in an energetic and ultimately hopeful way.​

    An Australia Council project grant enabled the multi-award winning Goorie writer to write full-time for 15 months on Too Much Lip which was ​published in 2018. It has been shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize and won the prestigious 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award.


    “I’ve always seen my task as a novelist as being to create engaging and powerful stories which bear witness to the world I know.”

    Melissa Lucashenko

    * Kidd DC and Castano E 2013, ‘Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind,’ Science 342:6156, pp. 377–380. Australia Council 2017, Reading the Reader: A survey of Australian reading habits. 


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