Two Brow Books titles SHORTlisted FOR the 2019 Stella Prize

We are so delighted to share the news that two Brow Books authors, Jamie Marina Lau (Pink Mountain on Locust Island) and Maria Tumarkin (Axiomatic), have been shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize for their books.

As a small press that only published its first book in 2016, this double-shortlisting is incredibly exciting for us. We’re now holding our breaths until April 9th (a very long time to hold breath!) when the winner is announced. Until then, huge congratulations to our two authors, and deep thanks to The Stella Prize, and to this year’s judges.


“Lau’s dizzying prose is like a series of crazy neon-lit performance art as she dissects, with extraordinary effervescence, Monk’s teenage angst, her struggles to fit in with her school friends, their parents, her father and her unhappily married sister. Reading this book is the literary equivalent of riding a rollercoaster while listening to a virtuoso violin performance by a child prodigy. Simply stunning."

–from the Stella Prize judges’ report for Pink Mountain on Locust Island

Pink Mountain on Locust Island
: winner of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Readings Residency Award, shortlisted in the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize.

"I was really interested in writing about the transactions between people and of people as a 'product'. What was also very important to me was exploring the difference between choice and necessity of certain professions and lifestyles – especially unpacking the social, cultural and psychological obligations of professions which rely on giving their customers 'hope' – for instance, professions in entertainment, drug culture and religious/spiritual organisations. All this – and then how it ties in with diasporic communities too."

–from Jamie Marina Lau, in The Guardian

Jamie Marina Lau (劉劍冰) is a 22-year-old writer and musician from Melbourne. Her work can be found in Cordite, ROOKIE magazine, Voiceworks, the Art Hoe Collective and in Monash University’s 2016 anthology Futures. She is currently studying film and literature, producing music, and working on more fiction.


“Take anything you’ve ever known about how nonfiction is supposed to work and throw it out the window: Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic is an unwieldy, expansive beast that combines lyrical essay with psychological reportage. Axiomatic pushes the boundaries of nonfiction so far out that they will never recover, and in so doing develops an essay style that perfectly reflects the complexities of our era.”

–from the Stella Prize judges’ report for Axiomatic

: winner of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, shortlisted for the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, longlisted for the Australian 2019 Indie Book Awards, shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize.

Maria Tumarkin is a writer and cultural historian. She is the author of Axiomatic and also three other acclaimed books of ideas: Traumascapes, Courage, and Otherland. All three were shortlisted for literary prizes; Otherland was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Award, NSW Premier’s Award and The Age Book of the Year. Tumarkin’s essays have appeared in The Best Australian Essays (2011, 2012 & 2015), Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Monthly, Sydney Review of Books, The Age, The Australian, and Inside Story. Tumarkin is involved in wide-ranging artistic collaborations with visual artists, theatre makers and audio designers. She was a 2013–14 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow in humanities and is a member of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s programming committee. Maria teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne.