Here is the list:
- Peter Carey’s The long way home (Penguin Random House) (on my TBR, but Lisa has reviewed)
- Felicity Castagna’s No more boats (Giramondo) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Michelle de Kretser’s The life to come (Allen & Unwin)(on my TBR, but Lisa has reviewed)
- Lia Hills’ The crying place (Allen & Unwin) (on my TBR, but Theresa Smith has reviewed)
- Eva Hornung’s The last garden (Text) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Wayne Macauley’s Some tests (Text), (Lisa has reviewed)
- Catherine McKinnon’s Storyland (HarperCollins) (MY review!!)
- Gerald Murnane’s Border districts (Giramondo) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Jane Rawson’s From the wreck (Transit Lounge) (on my TBR Lisa has reviewed)
- Michael Sala’s The restorer (Text) (American-based blogger Guy at His Futile Preoccupations has reviewed)
- Kim Scott’s Taboo (Picador Australia)(on my TBR, but Lisa has reviewed)
Some random observations:
- There are 11 on the longlist, which is interesting in itself – the Miles Franklin judges have, in recent years at least, not constrained themselves to a set number for their longlist. In 2016 and 2017, there were 9 books, and in 2015 there were 10.
- Six of the longlisted books are by women writers. Only one of these, Michelle de Kretser, was also longlisted for the Stella Prize.
- The list, unlike the Stella, is rather short on diversity, though, in addition to representing women well, it does include twice-winning indigenous writer, Kim Scott and Sri Lankan-born Michelle de Kretser.
- This is the first time that Gerald Murnane – frequently tipped as Australia’s next Nobel Laureate in Literature – has been listed for the award. About time.
- Peter Carey has won three times. If he wins this year, he will equal Tim Winton and Thea Astley who have both won four.
- I have several on my TBR, and others I would like to be there, but have only read one, Catherine McKinnon’s Storyland which, I was starting to think, was not going to be listed for any awards, despite its fascinating structure and all-round good story.
- I’m a little surprised not to see Claire G. Coleman’s Terra nullius nor Sofie Laguna’s The choke on the list.
- The ABC notes in its announcement that it’s “a list that’s light on outliers, all writers have been shortlisted for, or won, at least one major literary award.”
- Oh, and not surprisingly, Lisa has reviewed a lot of them!!
The judges for this year are: Richard Neville (State Library of NSW), Murray Waldren (journalist and columnist for The Australian), Dr Melinda Harvey (book critic), Lindy Jones (bookseller), and Susan Sheridan (Emeritus Professor in Humanities, Flinders University).
The shortlist will be announced in Canberra on 17 June, and the winner in Melbourne on 26 August.
What do you think?