Longlisted for the 2024 Stella Prize

Kate Mildenhall – The Hummingbird Effect

Fiction · Scribner Australia (an imprint of Simon & Schuster Australia)

The Humming Bird Effect

About the Book



One of the lucky few with a job during the Depression, Peggy’s just starting out in life. She’s a bagging girl at the Angliss meatworks in Footscray, a place buzzing with life as well as death, where the gun slaughterman Jack has caught her eye – and she his.

How is her life connected to Hilda’s, almost a hundred years later, locked inside during a plague, or La’s, further on again, a singer working shifts in a warehouse as her eggs are frozen and her voice is used by AI bots? Let alone Maz, far removed in time, diving for remnants of a past that must be destroyed? Is it by the river that runs through their stories, eternal yet constantly changing – or by the mysterious Hummingbird Project, and the great question of whether the march of progress can ever be reversed?

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“The Hummingbird Effect is speculative fiction at its finest: inventive, mind-expanding and wonderfully ambitious.”

– 2024 Stella Prize Judges

Kate Mildenhall

About the Author


Kate Mildenhall

Kate Mildenhall is a writer and teacher. Her debut novel, Skylarking, was named in Readings Top Ten Fiction Books of 2016 and her bestselling The Mother Fault was longlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year and shortlisted for the 2020 Aurealis Awards. Mildenhall teaches creative writing and co-hosts The First Time podcast – which features conversations with Australian writers – and is currently undertaking a PhD in creative practice at RMIT University. Kate lives in Hurstbridge on Wurundjeri lands, with her partner and two children. Her third novel is The Hummingbird Effect.

Further Reading


Judges’ Report


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