Longlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize

Smart Ovens for Lonely People – Elizabeth Tan

Fiction · Brio Books

Smart ovens for lonely people

About the book

Conspiracies, celebrities, and therapies underpin this beguiling short-story collection from Elizabeth Tan.

A cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life. Four girls gather to celebrate their fabulous underwear.

With her trademark wit and slicing social commentary, Elizabeth Tan’s short stories are as funny as they are insightful. This collection cements her role as one of Australia’s most inventive writers.

Smart Ovens for Lonely People is a profound delight.”

– 2021 Stella Prize Judges

About the author

Elizabeth Tan

Elizabeth Tan is the author of the short-story collection Smart Ovens for Lonely People, which won the 2020 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. Her first book was the novel-in-stories Rubik. She lives in Perth, on Whadjuk Noongar land.

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

Judges’ report

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