Publisher's synopsis

In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.

Over three parts, she takes 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 threatened. In ‘Light’, familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging.

Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.


Winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award.

Winner, 2015, Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists

Winner, 2015, Dobbie Literary Award

Co-winner, 2016, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Indigenous Writer’s Prize

Shortlisted, 2015, The Stella Prize

Shortlisted, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing)

Shortlisted, Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

Shortlisted, Queensland Literary Awards – Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance

Shortlisted, Queensland Literary Awards – Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award

Shortlisted, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing

Longlisted, 2015, ASAL ALS Gold Medal

Commended, 2016, The Kate Challis RAKA Award for Indigenous Fiction