The Miles Franklin Literary Award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. The award was intended to encourage and support writers of Australian literature, and has now distributed more than $1 million in philanthropic funds to authors.
Mr Patrić will receive $60,000 in prize money for his novel, which was considered to have presented “Australian life in any of its phases” and was judged to be of the “highest literary merit”, the two criteria set out by Miles Franklin in her will. As a 2016 finalist Mr Patrić received $5,000 in May along with the other short listed authors from the Copyright Agency’s
The book was selected from a short list of powerful Australian voices depicting unforgettable characters – including authors Peggy Frew, Myfanwy Jones, Lucy Treloar and Charlotte Wood.
Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said the novel delivers a powerful and raw account of the migrant experience in Australia, exploring the damages of war, and the possibility of redemptive love, in the context
of debilitating emotional and physical dislocation. Mr Neville said it is a novel of compassion and challenge, its driving, urgent narrative
envelops the reader in one of the great issues of our time. Mr Neville was joined on the judging panel by The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray
Waldren; Sydney bookseller, Lindy Jones; writer and editor, Craig Munro; and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is Australia’s most prestigious literature prize. Established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin, the prize is awarded each year to a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.
First presented in 1957, the Award helps to support authors and to foster uniquely Australian literature. Miles Franklin believed that “Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil." She also had first-hand experience of struggling to make a living as a writer and was the beneficiary of two literary prizes herself.