Jessica Au is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Cold Enough for Snow won the inaugural Novel Prize, run by Giramondo, New Directions and Fitzcarraldo Editions, and is set to be published in twenty countries.
'Rarely have I been so moved, reading a book: I love the quiet
beauty of Cold Enough for Snow and how, within its calm
simplicity, Jessica Au camouflages incredible power.'
- Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy
'So calm and clear and deep, I wished it would flow on
- Helen Garner, author of The First Stone
'Au's is a book of deceptive simplicity, weaving profound
questions of identity and ontology into the fabric of quotidian
banality.... What matters, the novel reassures us, is constantly
imbricated with the everyday, just as alienation and tender care
can coexist in the same moment.'
- Claire Messud, Harper's
'This novella is graceful and precise. Like the narrator
fine-tuning the aperture on her Nikon camera, Au seems to say, we
have to choose our scale, what we pay attention to. ...Finally, we
bump up against what is not knowable. Au has mentioned her taste
for "subverting narrative expectation ... open endings, scenes in
which nothing happens yet everything happens". Cold Enough for
Snow is exactly this, a book of inference and small mysteries.
The stories, memories and images Au puts on the table escape easy
conclusions ... Aesthetic, opaque, endlessly uncoiling.'
- Imogen Dewey, Guardian
'Au's novel is ... masterly in the way it evokes our
dissociation from desire-our own and other people's.... We can
sense it in the soft, patient warmth of Au's prose, which sometimes
feels attuned to truths just out of the narrator's reach.'
- Peter C. Baker, New Yorker
'This clever, phantom-like work eludes definition.'
- Catherine Taylor, Guardian
'This is a powerful novel about the relationship between a
mother and daughter, and the ways that geography, language, art,
travel and migration can change the ways we see ourselves, as well
as alter the relationships we have with loved ones with differing
life and cultural experiences. Reading it -no matter the season -
feels akin to walking through a hazy, dream-like mirage, in which
characters, emotions and intentions are ever-so-slightly out of
- Vanessa Peterson, frieze