Lovers of Australian literature will welcome today’s release by Perpetual of the longlist for one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards, the Miles Franklin Literary Award. As Trustee of the award, Perpetual has announced the nine authors in competition for this year’s prize. The authors include new entrants such as Lucy Treloar, A S Patric, and Myfanwy Jones, and previous longlisted authors such as Tony Birch and Stephen Orr.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is regarded as Australia’s most prestigious literature prize and was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. First awarded in 1957, the prize is awarded each year to the novel of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.
The 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist is:
Tony Birch, Ghost River, University of Queensland Press
Stephen Daisley, Coming Rain, Text Publishing
Peggy Frew, Hope Farm, Scribe Publications
Myfanwy Jones, Leap Allen & Unwin
Mireille Juchau, The World Without Us Bloomsbury Publishing
Stephen Orr, The Hands: an Australian pastoral, Wakefield Press
A S Patric, Black Rock White City, Transit Lounge (SA WRITERS CENTRE WILL BE HOLDING A WORKSHOP WITH AS PATRIC SOON)
Lucy Treloar, Salt Creek, Pan Macmillan
Charlotte Wood, The Natural Way of Things, Allen & Unwin
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist explored Australian life in novels set across three centuries.
“This year a dominant theme of these novels is the impact of grief and loss – complex families, unstable relationships, accidents, European war crimes, suicide, – and how the experience of these issues deeply determine the narrative and direction of lives. These powerful stories, underpinned by distinct physical environments and each with a unique register and tone, range from the colonial past into the near-future. All possess a quality of writing that indicates Australian literature is strong and thriving.”
Nearly all these novels are about families and the dynamics that their dysfunction creates within lives, in regional and urban Australia, and in a dystopian future.
Mr Neville is joined on the judging panel by The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren, Sydney-based bookseller, Lindy Jones, biographer, book historian, publishing editor, and Queensland Writers Centre founding chair Craig Munro and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, congratulated the longlisted authors.
“It is a great achievement for each of these authors to be included in such an esteemed longlist.
“Arguably the most important prize in the Australian literature community, Perpetual is proud to support the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Perpetual has a long and proud history of establishing and managing trusts to provide the right results for beneficiaries, and this award is a marvellous example of the positive impact philanthropy can have.”
Join the Miles Franklin conversation on Twitter with hashtag #milesfranklin or follow @_milesfranklin.