Current Issue #488

Book Review:
Smart Ovens for Lonely People

Perth author Elizabeth Tan’s second book is a tight, satirical short story collection full of memorably crafted characters.

This highly inventive collection of short stories takes the reader inside intimate portraits of richly drawn characters: the ASMR star who unwittingly becomes involved in an international conspiracy; the last known player of cat-based mobile phone game Neko Atsume, bribed with the promise of game upgrades and the titular story, in which a woman is given a cat-shaped smart oven by her insurance company after a suicide attempt.

Satirical, darkly comical and cynical, yet ultimately poignant and hopeful, these stories offer a beautiful escape while still addressing our relationship to the environment, technology and ourselves.

Elizabeth Tan expertly melds the hyper-cultural with a rich sense of humanity to create stories that linger well beyond their tightly crafted word count.

Author: Elizabeth Tan
Publisher: Brio Books

Kylie Maslen

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Kylie Maslen is a writer and critic from Kaurna/Adelaide, and the author of Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness (Text Publishing).

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