Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 30, 2014

Book Giveaway for Indigenous Literature Week: Heat and Light, by Ellen van Neerven

I have a very special Book Giveaway today.  UQP (University of Queensland Press) who are major supporters of indigenous literature in Australia have offered a copy of  Heat and Light, by Ellen van Neerven to support Indigenous Literature Week 2014 here at ANZ LitLovers.  The reason this is so special is that the book is not actually scheduled for release until August 27th, so this is an opportunity to read the book before it hits the bookshops!

Here’s the advance publicity:

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

Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award, Ellen van Neerven’s novel Heat and Light takes readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.

Over three parts, Ellen van Neerven draws on 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’, a futuristic world is imagined and the fate of a people is threatened.

While in ‘Light’, familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging.

In writing Heat and Light, Ellen was inspired by a number of ideas. As a young woman of Aboriginal and Dutch decent, she has become more and more interested in her family history and the way in which it defines her. Place was also of significance, in particular Yugambeh country, the Scenic Rim on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, where her family is from.

Ellen is the 25th winner of the prestigious David Unaipon Award, and joins the ranks of Indigenous luminaires such as Doris Pilkington, Larissa Behrendt and Tara June Winch.


‘…here is an outstanding writer at work.’ David Unaipon Award, judges’ comments


Born in 1990, Ellen van Neerven is a writer of Murri and Dutch heritage. She belongs to the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim. She won the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer in the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards for Heat and Light. Ellen’s short fiction, poetry and memoir have appeared in numerous publications, including The Best of McSweeney’s, Review of Australian Fiction and The Lifted Brow. She lives in Brisbane.


Avid Reader Bookstore (Brisbane) – Tuesday, 9th September at 6.30 pm.

Readings, Carlton (Melbourne) – late September.


Be in it to win it, but you’ll have to be quick: Anyone with an Australian address is eligible.  Please indicate your interest in the Comments box below and I’ll select a winner using a random generator on Thursday of this week i.e. Thursday July 3rd.  (It’s a short timeline so that hopefully the book can get to the winner in time for NAIDOC week, July 8-15).

NB The postal address of the winner will be provided to UQP so that they can post the book direct.

All entries from Australian residents will be eligible but it is a condition of entry that if you are the winner, you must contact me with a postal address by the deadline that will be specified in the blog post that announces the winner.   (I’ll redraw if this deadline isn’t met).



  1. I’d love to win a copy. I’ll be recommending this to our book club.


  2. This sounds an extraordinary book, and an important new voice in Australian Indigenous writing. I’d love an early copy, but expect I’ll buy this in any case.


  3. Would love to win, sounds amazing.


  4. Hi Lisa. How exciting! Please count me in, thanks.


  5. Sounds like a powerful book. All the best, Lisa.


  6. Hi Lisa, I’ve been looking out for this all year! I’d love to go in the draw. Thanks, Jessica :)


    • Good luck to you too, Jessica:)


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