Woo hoo! Last year I had only read and reviewed one book on the Miles Franklin longlist, but this year I’ve read three! It’s a record (for me, anyhow!)
Here is the list:
- Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s The Lebs (Nancy’s review) (Hachette)
- Robbie Arnott’s Flames (Lisa’s review) (Text)
- Trent Dalton’s Boy swallows universe (my review) (Fourth Estate)
- Gregory Day’s A sand archive (Lisa’s review) (Picador)
- Lexi Freiman’s Inappropriation ( A&U)
- Rodney Hall’s A stolen season (my review) (Picador)
- Gail Jones’ The death of Noah Glass (Text)
- Melissa Lucashenko’s Too much lip (my review) (UQP)
- Jennifer Mills’ Dyschronia (Lisa’s review) (Picador)
- Tracy Sorenson’s The lucky galah (Lisa’s review) (Picador).
- There are 10 on the longlist. The Miles Franklin judges have, in recent years, not constrained themselves to a set number for their longlist. In 2018 there were 11 books, In 2016 and 2017, there were 9 books, and in 2015 there were 10.)
- Half of the longlisted books are by women writers. Two of these, Gail Jones and Melissa Lucashenko, were also longlisted for the Stella Prize.
- Rodney Hall has won twice before, for Just relations and The grisly wife, and been shortlisted three more times.
- I was little surprised not to see Enza Gandolfo’s The bridge on the list – but this is always the way. I accept that!
- There are debut authors here – including Trent Dalton and Tracy Sorenson – and many well established ones (who don’t seen to be named!)
The 2019 Miles Franklin longlist yet again highlights a mixture of new and established writers. It showcases ten of the most vibrant voices of Australian fiction speaking to us of lives facing, or having endured, some version of extremity. Angry, funny, contemplative and urgent, these voices—which include a galah—explore personal, historical and ecological loss, cultural inheritances and disenfranchisement, and the fraught bonds of friendships, families and communities.
I am rushing to go out… so will leave that for you to think about.
The judges for this year are almost the same as last year’s: Richard Neville (State Library of NSW), Murray Waldren (journalist and columnist for The Australian), Dr Melinda Harvey (book critic), Lindy Jones (bookseller), and Bernadette Brennan (author and literary critic). Brennan replaces last year’s Susan Sheridan.
The shortlist will be announced on 2 July at the State Library of New South Wales, and the winner on 30 July in Sydney.
What do you think?