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Longlist for 2010 Miles Franklin Award announced

March 17, 2010
Book cover for Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey

Jasper Jones cover (Courtesy Allen & Unwin)

Without further ado, here are the twelve who’ve made it to the 2010 Miles Franklin Award longlist:

  • Allington, Patrick Figurehead
  • Carey, Peter Parrot and Olivier in America
  • Castro, Brian The bath fugues
  • Doust, Jon Boy on a wire
  • Foster, David Sons of the rumour
  • Foster, Deborah The book of Emmett
  • Guest, Glenda Siddon Rock
  • Hartnett, Sonia Butterfly
  • Keneally, Thomas The people’s train
  • Miller, Alex Lovesong
  • Silvey, Craig Jasper Jones
  • Temple, Peter Truth

Well, shock! horror!, as you can see from my lonely link, I’ve only read one of these to date. While I like to give some focus in my reading to Australian writers, my reading, it seems, is driven by things other than catching the latest books out!  I do, however, have Lovesong and Truth in my TBR pile … so I will try, now, to get to them sooner rather than later … and then, well, time will tell how many of the others I manage to get to …

It is good to see a mix of new authors and established authors. That is a healthy sign, isn’t it. Still, there are some interesting omissions here, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of comments on those. Cate Kennedy’s The world beneath (another on my TBR pile) is one that garnered some positive critical attention but is not here. Marion Halligan’s Valley of Grace and David Malouf’s Ransom, on the other hand, would have missed out because they do not meet the award’s conditions: that is, the work “must present Australian Life in any of its phases”!

All this, however, is now water under the bridge. The shortlist will be announced in April, and the winner on June 22.

If you’d like to research any of these titles further, a good start is this link to Readings Bookshop in Melbourne: it contains links to their interviews with several of the nominated authors.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. adevotedreader permalink
    March 17, 2010 7:47 pm

    I’v read and really enjoyed Butterfly and Truth, and mean to read many of the rest, starting with Jasper Jones. It.s an interesting list.

    I’m suprised they included Carey, and sad not to see The World Beneath and Kalinda Ashton’s The Danger Game included.

    • March 17, 2010 10:48 pm

      Oh, I haven’t even heard of Kalinda Ashton. My son read Truth and liked it – and left it for me. I thoroughly enjoyed his The broken shore, so am keen to read this.

  2. March 20, 2010 3:44 am

    Shamefully, I have read only a few Australian writers and can’t say I know a thing about the literary culture there (please forgive me!). Is the Miles Franklin Award sort of like the UK’s Booker Prize?

    • March 20, 2010 10:01 am

      Stefanie, it’s our most “important” literary award though not quite our richest. It is “awarded for the novel of the year which is of the highest literary merit and which must present Australian Life in any of its phases”. It’s a bit narrower than the Booker – probably a bit closer to you Pulitzer because like it it focuses on “national” subject matter?

      Here is Wikipedia with a list of winners and shortlists – in case you have time to read some more Aussies!

      • March 23, 2010 1:11 am

        Thanks! I will start working on fitting in more authors from your fine country 🙂

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