2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist unveiled

May 29, 2016 | Author

Celebrating the haunting, shocking and heart-breakingly honest must read Australian novels for 2016

The shortlist for the prestigious 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, announced today by Perpetual and Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, will take lovers of Australian literature on an emotional journey, allowing
readers to celebrate and reflect on Australian life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

These exceptional novels reveal observations about the fabric of modern day Australian society. They confront misogyny, the aching intensity of the outcast, the devastating affect of European settlement on Aboriginal culture, the challenging experiences of Australian immigrants and the oppressive weight of grief. As Miles Franklin herself intended, they challenge how we look at ourselves – both personally and as a country.

Lucy Treloar, A S Patric, and Myfanwy Jones – all nominated for the first time – join authors Peggy Frew and Charlotte Wood on the shortlist for the 2016 award, which aims to recognise uniquely Australian literature that presents Australian life in any of its phases.

The 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist is:

• HOPE FARM by Peggy Frew (Scribe Publications): A quietly powerful and haunting novel, full of the aching intensity of the outcast, rendered in pitch-perfect tone and heartbreakingly believable.

• LEAP by Myfanwy Jones (Allen & Unwin): A beautiful story about the resolution of grief, not by moving on or forgetting, but by finally accommodating, absorbing and accepting its weight.

• BLACK ROCK WHITE CITY by A.S. Patric (Transit Lounge): A fresh and powerful exploration of the immigrant experience and Australian life that explores the damages of war, the constraints of choice,
the possibility of redemptive love and social isolation amid suburbia.

• SALT CREEK by Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillian): This portrait of frontier life is a time-traveller’s delight as it unsettles assumptions about European ‘settlement’ and its devastating effects on Aboriginal culture, while graphically charting the unequal nineteenth-century power relations between men and women.

• THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin): A confronting story of misogyny that is both shockingly realist in its details and deeply allegorical in its shape.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said: “The focus of this year’s shortlist is the creation, maintenance and manipulation of identity: the impact of its dislocation, the devastation of its theft, and the consequences of its re-imagination.

“The 2016 shortlist moves around colonial society, a dysfunctional late twentieth century and a disturbing future, all realised with divergent but consistently powerful voices.”

In addition to Mr Neville, the judging panel includes: The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren; Sydney-based bookseller, Lindy Jones; writer and editor, Craig Munro; and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.

Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, congratulated the shortlisted authors.

“As the shortlist announcement shows, Miles Franklin’s legacy continues to make a significant impact on the lives of authors and booklovers alike.

“There is a passionate literary community in Australia and through Miles’ commitment to philanthropy she has helped to make sure that community continues to thrive.”

The announcement, made at the Australian Booksellers Association Conference in Canberra, followed an oration by 2012 Miles Franklin winner, Anna Funder.

The Copyright Agency’s Chief Executive, Adam Suckling, said: “This is a thrilling group of talented writers who have all created quite extraordinary and unforgettable stories and characters. The Miles Franklin is a terrific celebration of Australia’s literary talent and I want to congratulate each of the finalists.”

The winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2016 will be announced at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 26 August 2016 and will receive $60,000 in prize money for their novel judged as being ‘of the highest literary merit’ and which presents ‘Australian life in any of its phases’. Each of the 2016 shortlisted authors will receive $5,000.

For further information about the Miles Franklin Literary Award, visit http://www.milesfranklin.com.au/

For enquiries related to The Miles Franklin Literary Award, Perpetual, Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund or to request an interviews with finalists, judges or authors please contact:

Jane Morey
Morey Media
(02) 9929 9922
jane@moreymedia.com.au

 

About the Miles Franklin Literary Award
Perpetual is Trustee for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Award was established in 1954 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to celebrate the Australian character and creativity. It supports the betterment of Australian literature by each year recognising the novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian Life in any of its phases. The 2015 winner of the prize was Sofie Laguna for her novel The Eye of the Sheep.

Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has been a proud supporter of the Miles Franklin Award since 2004, granting more than half a million dollars to this premier Australian literary prize.

www.milesfranklin.com.au

About Perpetual Philanthropic Services
Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest managers and distributors of philanthropic funds with $2.4 billion in funds under advice (as at 31 December 2015). Perpetual is trustee for over 1000 charitable trusts and endowments and provides individuals and families with advice on establishing charitable foundations and structured giving programs. Perpetual also assists charities and not-for-profit organisations with investment advice and management.

Perpetual’s Philanthropic Services and advice are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and contains information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide advice or take into account personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information included in this document which was contributed by a third party.

About the Copyright Agency and Cultural Fund
The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that has been standing up for creators for more than 40 years. We enable the reuse of copyright-protected words and images in return for fair payment to creators. Our vision is for a world that encourages and supports creativity, communication and learning. The Copyright Agency provides simple ways for people to reproduce, store and share words, images and other creative content, in return for fair payment to creators. We are committed to encouraging the development of lively and diverse markets for published works with our range of commercial licences and through our Cultural Fund.

The Cultural Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency, contributing meaningfully to a wide range of Australian cultural, educational and artistic programs and creators. Through its support it fosters greater understanding and engagement of national culture both locally and internationally.