Au’s calm, unrelenting focus would be hard to take over a longer book – but this novella is graceful and precise. Like the narrator fine-tuning the aperture on her Nikon camera, Au seems to say, we have to choose our scale, what we pay attention to.
—Imogen Dewey, The Guardian

Winner of the inaugural Novel Prize, an elegant and subtle exploration of the mysteries of our relationships to others

Cold Enough For Snow

Fiction by Jessica Au

Winner of the inaugural Novel Prize, Cold Enough for Snow, is an elegant and subtle exploration of the mysteries of our relationships to others. A mother and daughter travel from abroad to Tokyo: they walk along the canals through the autumn evenings, escape the typhoon rains, share meals in small cafes and restaurants, and visit galleries to see some of the city’s contemporary art. All the while, they talk: about the weather, horoscopes, clothes, and objects, about family, distance, and memory. But uncertainties abound. Who is really speaking? And what is the real reason for this elliptical, perhaps even spectral journey? At once a careful reckoning and an elegy, Cold Enough for Snow questions whether any of us speak a common language, which dimensions can contain love, and what claim we have to truly know another’s inner world.

Buy from:

Paperback (published February 15, 2022)

ISBN
9780811231558
Price US
14.95
Trim Size
5x7
Page Count
144

Ebook

ISBN
9780811231565

Jessica Au

Contemporary Australian novelist

Au’s calm, unrelenting focus would be hard to take over a longer book – but this novella is graceful and precise. Like the narrator fine-tuning the aperture on her Nikon camera, Au seems to say, we have to choose our scale, what we pay attention to.
—Imogen Dewey, The Guardian
Au’s novel is perhaps most masterly in the way it evokes our dissociation from desire—our own and other people’s…we can sense it in the soft, patient warmth of Au’s prose, which sometimes feels attuned to truths just out of the narrator’s reach.
—Declan Fry, The Sydney Morning Herald
Au’s novel is perhaps most masterly in the way it evokes our dissociation from desire—our own and other people’s…we can sense it in the soft, patient warmth of Au’s prose, which sometimes feels attuned to truths just out of the narrator’s reach.
—Peter Baker, The New Yorker
Jessica Au’s slim, spectral novel Cold Enough for Snow…deftly uses stream of consciousness to explore the legacy of inherited family traits and the difficulty of breaking away.
—Tobias Grey, The New York Times
Quiet and crisp like a clear winter morning…a world of melancholy and dissolving identity.
—Shane Anderson, 032c
Au’s is a book of deceptive simplicity, weaving profound questions of identity and ontology into the fabric of quotidian banality….What matters, the novel reassures us, is constantly imbricated with the everyday, just as alienation and tender care can coexist in the same moment.
—Claire Messud, Harper’s
On a trip to Japan, a mother and daughter circle each other quietly. There is no tension, no snap, but every exchange — about souvenirs and restaurant menus and their childhood memories — is laden with pressure, a potential missed opportunity for bonding…Cold Enough for Snow observes the invisible thread between parent and child as it twists and knots and occasionally goes slack.
—Hillary Kelly, Vulture
Flawed understanding, consolation, and insufficiency all infuse this compelling, unsettling novel reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Whereabouts or Rachel Cusk’s Outline Trilogy. A beautifully observed book, written in precise, elegant prose that contains a wealth of deep feeling.
Kirkus (starred review)
Rarely have I been so moved, reading a book: I love the quiet beauty of Cold Enough for Snow and how, within its calm simplicity, Jessica Au camouflages incredible power.
—Edouard Louis
Jessica Au is a new talent to be watched.
—Romy Ash, Australian Book Review
Au’s writing ebbs along effortlessly and poetically.
The Australian