Publisher's synopsis

To smack or not to smack is the question that reverberates through the interconnected lives dissected in Christos Tsiolkas’ award-winning novel.

At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.

It is a single act, but the slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it.

Told through the eyes of eight of those present at the barbecue, this acclaimed bestseller is an unflinching interrogation of the life of the modern family. Poignant and provocative, THE SLAP makes us question the nature of commitment and happiness, compromise and truth. Whose side are you on?


  • Winner Melbourne Prize for Literature 2021 AU; Winner, Overall Best Book the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009
  • Winner, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2009 and Overall Book of the Year 2009
  • Winner, ABA Book of the Year 2009
  • Winner, ALS Gold Medal 2009
  • Winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2009
  • Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize 2009
  • Shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award 2008
  • Longlisted, The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2010 0

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