Poetic. Perceptive. Original.
  • Australiana
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Yumna Kassab

Shortlisted for the University Of Queensland Fiction Book Award

One small town, a multitude of stories.

When the river runs dry, the town runs red.

This could be any small town. It aches under the heat of summer. It flourishes in the cooler months. Everyone knows everyone. Their families, histories and stories are interwoven and well-known by one and all. Or at least, they think they are. But no-one sees anything quite the same way. Perceptions differ, truths are elusive, judgements have outcomes and everything is connected. For better or for worse.
This is a version of small-town Australia that is recognisable, both familiar and new, exploring the characters, threads, and connections that detail everyday life to reveal a much bigger story. A tapestry that makes up this place called home.
From the acclaimed author of The House of Youssef comes this extraordinary and unique novel shining a light on Australian rural life.

About the Author

Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her first book, The House of Youssef, was listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, Queensland Literary Award, NSW Premier's Literary Award and The Stella Prize.


‘The real deal.’ – Favel Parrett, author of Past the Shallows and There Was Still Love

'Kassab creates an eerie sense of place as the reader is drawn into myriad perspectives and geographies. Without doubt Australiana is an unnerving contribution to contemporary novel writing in this continent.'​ - Books + Publishing


‘poetic, wise and peppered with black humour.’ - T: The New York Times Style Magazine Australia


‘It is a novel of themes, textures, and interplay, seeking engagement through white space and chorus.’ – The Australian

‘There are times that reading these stories feels like being let in on some juicy gossip. And other times, we witness tragedy that is usually hidden from outsiders. In this way, I see Australiana as not merely challenging the established mythology of the regions but creating a new one.’ - Sydney Review of Books

Australiana plays with myths of Australian bush life while simultaneously restoring focus on the stories of those who live their lives in the regions. I recognise my young self and those I lived among in its pages.’ - The Conversation



‘The unadorned style and unobtrusive realism of this book mask, at first, how experimental and original it is in other ways’  Sydney Morning Herald
‘Kassab’s prose is unsparing and frank yet unstinting’  Australian Book Review




Pub Date
March 2022




Australian life. Rural Australia. Interpersonal relationships. Diversity. Community