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Miles Franklin Award 2018 Longlist

May 23, 2018

Catherine McKinnon, StorylandI didn’t post the Miles Franklin Award Longlist last year, but I’m intrigued by this year’s list so am sharing it with you – though I’m sure most Aussie readers will have seen it already.

Here is the list:

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?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2018 9:29 am

    I have read and reviewed two, The Life to Come and The Crying Place. Out of these, I preferred The Crying Place. A few more are on my pile though, and have been for quite a while. Time to dust them off!

    • May 23, 2018 11:06 am

      Yes, me too Theresa – well time to dust them off for me too. So many books! I’ll add your Crying Place review to my list.

  2. May 23, 2018 10:08 am

    It’s a great list, that’s a feast of reading, I reckon…
    I’m very pleased to see Storyland getting the attention it deserves, we are of one mind there. I can’t understand why it hasn’t popped up somewhere else before, maybe Harper Collins hasn’t entered it in awards? (I never seem to see their names among lists of nominees).
    And yes, Murnane, about time!

    • May 23, 2018 11:08 am

      Yes, I knew you’d feel the same about Storyland Lisa. I sometimes wonder, as you’ve suggested, whether books we see missing haven’t been entered, though you’d be surprised if a big company lie HarperCollins hadn’t wouldn’t you.

      As for Murnane – woo hoo.

  3. buriedinprint permalink
    May 24, 2018 3:39 am

    This list always intrigues me because I think of it as Australia’s Giller Prize and figure it’s filled with good stuff. Periodically I read one of the titles and at the beginning of this year I was sure that I’d be reading more Australian books this year in general but, so far, my dreams have outpaced my bookish reality (although I am keeping up with some of my readolutions, so I shouldn’t complain really).

    • May 24, 2018 8:38 am

      Haha Buried, love your readolutions. I must sat that reading dreams outpacing reality is the story of my life.

      BTW I wish I could read more Canadian literature.

  4. May 24, 2018 1:38 pm

    I was surprised to see Terra Nullius miss out, and delighted that From the Wreck was included. Rawson’s wonderful writing doesn’t seem to attract awards.

    • May 24, 2018 2:23 pm

      No, I agree on both counts, Bill, though I haven’t read From the wreck yet. I just feel overwhelmed with all there is to read and the time available to do it!

  5. May 25, 2018 5:26 pm

    I see we both have a lot of reading to do…! I have only read 1 on the list.
    I think I’ll wait for the short list on the 17th June and see what appeals to me!
    Great insights in this post.

    • May 25, 2018 6:02 pm

      Haha Nancy, I’m half thinking the same. My reading group has done two new Aussie novels this first half of the year, Terra nullius and First person. I thought at least one of them would be long-listed.

  6. Meg permalink
    May 27, 2018 8:29 am

    Hi Sue, I have three to read on the list. At the moment The Restorer and The Life to Come are my favourites. I will just have to hope they make the short list.

    • May 27, 2018 1:30 pm

      Thanks Meg. I do like De Kretser and Iiked Sara’s first novel so I’d love to read this.

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