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y separately published work icon Steam Pigs single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1997... 1997 Steam Pigs
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'I haven't got a 'boyfriend', Mum." "Fine way to be carrying on then, out all Sat'dy night with a strange fella..." "Muuum. " "Don't you marm me, my girl. When I was your age I wasn't out running around with any stray bloke with a flash car and the gift of the gab. "And when I'm your age, thought Sue maliciously, I won't be ringing up my kids to scab money and make their lives a misery into the bargain. Sue Wilson, young and Aboriginal, escapes her "too-large, too-poor family in a too-small" north Queensland town for Logan City's frontier sprawl. Entering "the mythic world of Work" she discovers that the view from behind the bar is less than glamorous, but pays the rent. When she meets Roger the good times begin to roll until she finds herself starring in a feature with medium level violence. Melissa Lucashenko's first novel makes no apologies. With direct and gutsy language, her characters live their lives in the shadows cast by indifferent affluence.' (Source: UQP website:




  • Dedication: This book is gratefully dedicated to Elaine McCoy, for upping the ante.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Aussen Eckig, Innen Rund
Language: German
    • Frankfurt am Main,
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Alibaba ,
      2000 .
      image of person or book cover 5130907626753166321.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 292p.
      ISBN: 3860420941

Works about this Work

The Beach as (Hu)man Limit in Gold Coast Narrative Fiction Kelly Palmer , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Queensland Review , June vol. 25 no. 1 2018; (p. 149-162)

'Gold Coast beaches oscillate in the cultural imagination between everyday reality and a tourist's paradise of ‘sun, surf and sex’ (Winchester and Everett 2000: 59). While these narratives of selfhood and becoming, egalitarianism and sexual liberation punctuate the media, Gold Coast literary fictions instead reveal the beach as a site of danger, wholly personifying the unknown. Within Amy Barker's Omega Park, Melissa Lucashenko's Steam Pigs, Georgia Savage's The House Tibet and Matthew Condon's Usher and A Night at the Pink Poodle, the beach is a ‘masculine’ space for testing the limit of the coastline and one's own capacity for survival. This article undertakes a close textual analysis of these novels and surveys other Gold Coast fictions alongside spatial analysis of the Gold Coast coastline. These fictions suggest that the Gold Coast is not simply a holiday world or ‘Crime Capital’ in the cultural imagination, but a mythic space with violent memories, opening out onto an infinite horizon of conflict and estrangement.'

Source: Abstract.

The Indigenous Australian Novel Peter Minter , Belinda Wheeler , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Oxford History of the Novel in English : The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950 2017; (p. 284-299)

'Emerging in the second half of the twentieth century from the traditions of the oldest living cultures on earth - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia - the Indigenous Australian novel makes a unique contribution to the history of the novel in its contemporary phase...' (Introduction) 

Juxtaposing Australian and Canadian Writing Fiona Polack , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;

'The geographical entities of Australia and Canada house multifarious localities, regions and nations. Juxtaposing literary work emerging from them can open up invaluable new angles of critical inquiry at a moment when literary scholars in both countries seek insight into the relationship between national literatures and transnational forces.

'Upholding the value of comparing Australian and Canadian literatures is an urgent task at present given that interest in this juxtaposition seems to be diminishing.' (Publication abstract)

‘Ropes of Stories’ : Jean Rhys, Vivienne Cleven and Melissa Lucashenko Jessica Gildersleeve , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Queensland Review , June vol. 22 no. 1 2015; (p. 75-84)

'Cultural narratives also function as lifelines in the work of another Queensland Indigenous woman writer, Vivienne Cleven. Cleven's novel, Bitin’ Back (2001), begins when Mavis Dooley's son, Nevil, announces that he is no longer Nevil, but the writer Jean Rhys. Although Nevil eventually reveals that he has simply been acting as a woman in order to understand the protagonist of the novel he is writing, his choice of Rhys in particular is significant. Nevil selected Jean Rhys as a signifier of his female role because, he explains:

She's my favourite author; she wrote Wide Sargasso Sea [1966]. She was ahead of her time; she wrote about society's underdogs; about rejection and the madness of isolation. I know it sounds all crazy to you, Ma, but this is about who I am . . . [A] lot of people would never understand me and they wouldn't want to. (2001: 184)' (Publication abstract)

A New Generation Perpetuates the Anti- Suburban Tradition Nathanael O'Reilly , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exploring Suburbia: The Suburbs in the Contemporary Australian Novel 2012; (p. 137-190)
Reviews Sam Watson , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education , December vol. 27 no. 2 1999; (p. 56)

— Review of Steam Pigs Melissa Lucashenko , 1997 single work novel
Ageing, Friendship and Dying, with a Touch of Dickinson Veronica Sen , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times Sunday Times , 2 November 1997; (p. 22)

— Review of Along Came the Sky : A Novel R. D. Lappan , 1997 single work novel ; Hot News Wendy Jenkins , 1997 single work novel ; Tasting Salt Stephanie Dowrick , 1997 single work novel ; Steam Pigs Melissa Lucashenko , 1997 single work novel ; The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco John Birmingham , 1997 single work novel
Going Beyond Black and White Boundaries Alison Cotes , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 8 November 1997; (p. 8)

— Review of Steam Pigs Melissa Lucashenko , 1997 single work novel
Opening the Window to a Secret Life Samuel Wagan Watson , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 8 November 1997; (p. wkd 8)

— Review of Steam Pigs Melissa Lucashenko , 1997 single work novel
Shorts Kate Ahearne , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December-January no. 197 1997-1998; (p. 66)

— Review of Steam Pigs Melissa Lucashenko , 1997 single work novel
White Blindfolds and Black Armbands: The Uses of Whiteness Theory for Reading Australian Cultural Production Carole Ferrier , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Unmasking Whiteness : Race Relations and Reconciliation 1999; (p. 68-78) Queensland Review , May vol. 6 no. 1 1999; (p. 42-49)
'Analyses or descriptions of the history of race relations (and cultural production) in what has been called Australia for about a hundred years, have frequently been informed by two orientations that might be simply categorised as the white blindfold and the black armband positions. In many cases, these two mindsets can be observed in other Western cultures although the interaction between them, and the society around them, gets played out differently in particular places at particular times.' (Extract)
'Lock, Stock and Barrel' Ross Fitzgerald , Lyndon Megarrity , David Symons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Made in Queensland : A New History 2009; (p. 190-243)
The City : The Crumbling Bulwark Pablo Armellino , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ob-Scene Spaces in Australian Narrative : An Account of the Socio-Topographic Construction of Space in Australian Literature 2009; (p. 189-244)
Negotiating Subjectivity : Indigenous Feminist Praxis and the Politics of Aboriginality in Alexis Wright’s Plains of Promise and Melissa Lucashenko’s Steam Pigs Tomoko Ichitani , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature 2010; (p. 185-202)
Exploring Indigenous Identity in Suburbia : Melissa Lucashenko’s Steam Pigs Nathanael O'Reilly , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 10 2010;


1999 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
1998 shortlisted International Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize South-East Asia and Pacific Region Best First Book Award
1998 winner Kibble Literary Awards Nita May Dobbie Award
Last amended 13 Nov 2019 14:23:18
  • Queensland,
  • Logan City, Brisbane - South East, Brisbane, Queensland,
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