Having posted this year’s Miles Franklin Award Longlist I decided I may as well keep on with it! After all, it is, probably, Australia’s most watched award. The shortlist was announced in Canberra tonight – not that I was invited!
- Felicity Castagna’s No more boats (Giramondo) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Michelle de Kretser’s The life to come (Allen & Unwin)(scheduled for reading in July, but Lisa has reviewed)
- Eva Hornung’s The last garden (Text) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Catherine McKinnon’s Storyland (HarperCollins) (MY review!!)
- Gerald Murnane’s Border districts (Giramondo) (Lisa has reviewed)
- Kim Scott’s Taboo (Picador Australia)(on my TBR, but Lisa has reviewed)
Some random observations:
- Gerald Murnane, a neglected Australian author has made it through to the shortlist, which is great to see. Of being longlisted, he said he was “gratified”, because it was “a suitable reward for the hard task of writing the book.”
- Two previous winners, Michelle de Kretser and Kim Scott, have made it through.
- Recent winner of the Premier’s Award in the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, Hornung, has also made the cut. Her novel The Last Garden has also been shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. Hornung, who hasn’t been listed for the Miles Franklin, said of being longlisted that it felt “like a personal endorsement.”
- McKinnon, who has been overlooked, to date, by other awards, has also been shortlisted – which is great to see because it’s an interesting book and a good read. She said about being longlisted that she was “Delighted, dizzy, honoured, thrilled.” What will she feel now!
- Four of the six books are by women writers, and one is by an indigenous writer.
Judge Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian of the State Library of NSW, said, justifying the shortlisting in terms of Miles Franklin’s criteria:
The Miles Franklin 2018 shortlist engages with the complexities of Australian life in all of its phases, and the legacy of its timeless Indigenous past and its recent European present. All the novels explore how Australians connect with their complex stories, with their emotional histories, and with the legacy of colonisation. Each author in the shortlist considers what it means to live in a particular location, with unique and challenging vision. The vibrancy of contemporary Australian literature, and its relevance to thinking through the challenges of modern Australia, is confirmed with this diverse and intelligent shortlist.
The winner will take away $60,000, and each shortlisted order will receive $5,000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
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 winner will be announced in Melbourne on 26 August. I congratulate them all and wish them luck …
Is your favourite there? Do you want to make a prediction?