It's a speedy 108 pages and would likely take you just a few hours to read.
But Jessica Au's novella Cold Enough For Snow, that follows a young woman on holiday with her mother in Japan, has so many layers it could take a decade to unpack.
In fact, says Au, she took a good 10 years to "get to" this work in its finished form, which is this year's winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for fiction.
Au won alongside Sam Vincent for his non-fiction book My Father and Other Animals, Sarah Winifred Searle for her young adult work The Greatest Thing, Jasmine Seymour for her children's book Open Your Heart To Country, Gavin Yuan Gao for his poetry collection At the Altar of Touch and Shannyn Palmer for her Australian history work Unmaking Angas Downs.
It's a collection that, in the words of federal arts minister Tony Burke, "showed the incredible depth and breadth of Australia's literary talent".
"Stories like these allow us to learn about ourselves, understand each other and let the world get to know us," he said.
The winner of each category won $80,000.
Au said while the novella seemed to have taken a back seat in contemporary literature trends, it was a form that takes just as much skill and technique as anything longer or more dense.
"I just think each sentence should work to layer something to the story," she said.
"I think there's a beautiful sharpness to a lot of these short books. They don't overstay their welcome. They just know exactly what they need to do."
And, judging by the swathe of awards and commendations the book has received, including the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Readings Prize for fiction, and shortlistings for the Miles Franklin and the Dublin Literary Award, among others, the novella may well be due for a comeback.
Published by Giramondo, Cold Enough For Snow has been hailed as an exceptionally skilful rendering of relationships and landscape.
As the award judges point out, it's all about what is left unsaid, the distances between people and the unknowability of others' thoughts.
"The novel is a crystalline technical feat: a series of small portraits and wider scenes, with stillness achieved by capturing arrested motion," says the citation.
"Here is the daily embedded in the eternal: here we are in lives past, but also entirely present."
Au, who works as a librarian in Melbourne, said it had "been suggested" her that she try writing longer works, "I just couldn't write any other way, basically".
"My general philosophy is that a book dictates its own length in a way, with its own momentum and how much is in it, and how long it needs to say what it wants to say," she said.
"There's something about the pace and the crispness and the poetry of the short book that I really like."
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