Perpetual, the trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, has announced eleven authors will be competing for the rich literary prize of $60,000, arguably the most prestigious literary accolade in Australia.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin. Patrick White, the first winner of Australia’s most prestigious literature prize was crowned in 1957 with Voss, and since then the Miles Franklin Literary Award has presented more than $1.1 million to Australian authors.
The Award shines light on some of Australia’s most talented writers, and while the prize has been given to a truly wide scope of novels, it has always remained true to the terms of Miles Franklin’s will; to be of the highest literary merit and presenting Australian life in any phase.
The 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist is:
- Peter Carey, A Long Way from Home (Penguin Random House)
- Felicity Castagna, No More Boats (Giramondo Publishing)
- Michelle de Kretser, The Life to Come (Allen & Unwin)
- Lia Hills, The Crying Place (Allen & Unwin)
- Eva Hornung, The Last Garden (Text Publishing)
- Wayne Macauley, Some Tests (Text Publishing)
- Catherine McKinnon, Storyland (HarperCollins Publishers)
- Gerald Murnane, Border Districts (Giramondo Publishing)
- Jane Rawson, From the Wreck (Transit Lounge)
- Michael Sala, The Restorer (Text Publishing)
- Kim Scott, Taboo (Picador Australia - Pan Macmillan Australia)
“The longlist for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2018 spans many genres of the novel: historical, fantastical, realist, satirical, allegorical and autobiographical,” said Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian of the State Library of NSW and head of the Award judging panel. “The books take us back in time to consider the effects of the past, or address the issues of contemporary life, or give glimpses of an uncertain, even frightening future.”
“Whether dealing with disconnection, dispossession, the many varieties of grief and its resolutions, the violence done to those close or those unknown, or the deeper questions of existence, the eleven longlisted novels engage and reward the reader,” added Neville.
Joining Richard Neville on the judging panel is The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren, book critic Dr Melinda Harvey, Sydney-based bookseller, Lindy Jones and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, commended the longlisted authors.
“The authors named on this year’s longlist represent some of Australia’s most talented and provocative novelists. For more than 60 years, the Miles Franklin Literary Award has been supporting authors and helping to foster a uniquely Australian literature.
“The Award is a testament to the generosity of Miles Franklin and shows the difference one person can make to a community. Perpetual is proud to support Australia’s most prestigious literature prize. It’s a great example of how, with management, philanthropic donations can grow well beyond their original intentions.,” added Fay.
Some of the notable winners of the Miles Franklin Literary Award include: Tim Winton with Breath (2009), Dirt Music (2002), Cloudstreet (1992) and Shallows (1984). Winton shares the crown for most wins with Thea Astley for Drylands (2000), The Acolyte (1972), The Slow Natives (1965) and The Well Dressed Explorer (1962). Peter Carey has won three times for Jack Maggs (1998), Oscar and Lucinda (1989) and Bliss (1981), and Kim Scott twice for That Deadman Dance (2011) and Benang (2000).
The shortlisted finalists will be revealed on Sunday, 17 June at the Annual Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) Gala Dinner in Canberra. The winner announcement will be made on Sunday, 26 August in Melbourne.