About the author

Melissa Lucashenko

About the book

Judges' report

Too Much Lip is a fearless, searing and unvarnished portrait of generational trauma cut through with acerbic humour. A family drama a hundred years in the making unfolds in the fictional town of Durrongo as a sacred island is under threat from developers, aided by a corrupt council official born to thievery.

The novel’s cast of utterly believable characters is superbly drawn, as is the country in which the novel is set – a magical landscape animated by mocking crows and a vengeful shark.

There is no artifice in Lucashenko’s prose, which is stripped to the bone in a close study of secrecy and its consequences. Too Much Lip moves effortlessly in the telling: dangling from the precipice where ghosts emerge to tell inexorable truths to a serene bend on the river alive with lyrical magic realism.

Ultimately, Too Much Lip reaffirms the power of family and the frayed ties that still bind.

Further reading


‘Until recently, white authors’ interpretations of blak lives were much more likely to be published than stories told by First Nations writers themselves. A novel like Too Much Lip is proof that the future lies with First Nations people telling stories about First Nations peoples and histories.’ Karen Wyld, Sydney Review of Books

Too Much Lip describes a family in perpetual crisis: fractured, addicted, abused and abusive, absent and broken. It is a challenge and a delight to read.’ Amy Vuleta, Books+Publishing

Too Much Lip…brilliantly showcases Lucashenko’s talent for constructing funny, fraught and powerful stories driven by complex characters and compelling, true-to-life dramas.’
George Delaney, Readings


Read ‘Lucashenko aims for the heart’, a portrait of Melissa Lucashenko by Maxine Beneba Clarke in The Saturday Paper

Read ‘Too Much Lip was a frightening book to write’, an interview with Melissa Lucashenko in the Sydney Morning Herald

Listen to an interview with Melissa Lucashenko on ABC Radio National

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