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2021 - Shortlisted


Erudite, strange and compelling, Chris Flynn’s novel Mammoth is the book nobody ever realised they’d been waiting for – a counter-anthropomorphic hybrid of The Canterbury Tales and Madagascar. Set in the Americas, Mongolia, Egypt and Europe over the last one hundred million years, the novel tells the partly true story of a bunch of antiques meeting in the storage room behind a New York auction house in 2007. Title character Mammut (an American mastodon), frequently interrupted by the gathered fossils – including a smuggled Mongolian tyrannosaurus and a mummified royal hand – narrates the shaggy elephant story of its part in the uprising of megafauna against prehistoric humans and of the role of a mastodon skeleton in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

About the author

Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn is the author of The Glass Kingdom and A Tiger in Eden, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The AgeThe AustralianGriffith ReviewMeanjinAustralian Book ReviewThe Saturday PaperSmith JournalThe Big IssueMonster ChildrenMcSweeney’s and many other publications. He has conducted interviews for The Paris Review and is a regular presenter at literary festivals across Australia. Chris lives on Phillip Island, next to a penguin sanctuary.