About the author

Elizabeth Tan

About the book

Judges' report

Elizabeth Tan’s extraordinary imagination is on full display in Smart Ovens for Lonely People – a story collection that is astonishingly clever and witty, while also full of piercing insights into contemporary society. As she plays with structure and voice, Tan also explores popular culture and modern technology to great effect, and her futuristic scenarios are well thought out and all too plausible. Food scarcity, environmental destruction, capitalist bureaucracy and misogyny are just some of the ideas explored in the collection – in tales that feature mermaids, devious cats, and mangled ‘90s ballads. 

Impressively, Tan never loses sight of the characters at the heart of these stories: their desires and their fears, their relationships and – as alluded to by the title – their loneliness all bring a deep emotional resonance to this stunning collection. Smart Ovens for Lonely People is a profound delight.

Further reading


‘This utterly original book will mess with your mind and make you laugh like a drain.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald

‘Elizabeth Tan can twist ordinary suburban life into the weirdest shapes.’ Andrew Fuhrmann, The Monthly

‘In a collection of consistent highlights, the brilliance of some stories is particularly blinding.’ Lisa Bennett, Australian Book Review


Read ‘Interview #109 – Elizabeth Tan’, Liminal

Read ‘FWF Quarantine Q&A: Elizabeth Tan’ via the Feminist Writers Festival

Read ‘Meet Elizabeth Tan’ via the Melbourne Writers Festival blog

Share via: