Shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize

The Animals in That Country – Laura Jean McKay

Fiction · Scribe

The Animals in That Country

About the book

The Animals in That Country explores our – often fraught – relationships with family, animals, environment and country and how we commodify and abuse each and all of these. A must read.”

– 2021 Stella Prize Judges

Laura Jean McKay

About the author

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is the author of The Animals in That Country, winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Victorian Prize for Literature 2021. She is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia. Laura is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University.

Further Reading


“A fierce debut novel … Her writing about people is filthy, fresh and funny; this is prose on high alert, hackles up and teeth bared in every sentence. ” Justine Jordan, The Guardian

“This is an absorbing and affecting book, and one to which I’m able to pay the highest compliment: that, in the days after finishing it, the world felt different to me, its animals not speaking but not silent either.” Ben Brooker, Australian Book Review

“An incredible achievement in storytelling, and absolutely worth your time … one of the best Australian novels of the year.” Nicholas Wasiliev, Booktopia


Read ‘Q&A with Laura Jean McKay’ via the Sydney Writers’ Festival

Read ‘As coronavirus keeps us apart, we will let the animals in. I hope we do them justice’ by Laura Jean McKay, The Guardian

Listen to ‘Writing in the Time of Coronavirus: Contagion and Zombie Fiction’ featuring Laura Jean McKay via ABC’s The Book Show

Judges’ report

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