From the twice-winner of the Miles Franklin Award, Scary Monsters is an affecting, profound and darkly funny exploration into racism, misogyny, and ageism.
Narrated by two migrants, Scary Monsters is a political novel like no other, one that makes us laugh and despair in equal measure. Each side explores with great depth and empathy the migrant experience in the Western world and the narrowness of a society that fears the other, whether that be migrants themselves, or the scary monsters of racism, ageism and misogyny. Scary Monsters warns of evils that inhabit and are perpetrated by individuals as well as the state. It does so in a format that is strange, running contrary to the usual way a book is presented. Lili is a young woman teaching in a high school in the south of France in the early 1980s. She makes friends, dances to Blondie, tries to imagine what her future will hold and is disturbed by a creepy neighbour. Lyle is a middle-aged man working for the right-wing government in near-future Melbourne. He dresses in filing cabinet colours in order to avoid attracting attention, worries about his unruly children and wayward mother, and fears that a cover-up he's engineered at work will lead to repatriation. Is there a horrifying link between the two narratives?