Author A. S. Patrić has won the prestigious 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award for his debut novel, Black Rock White City.
The award, announced at the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival tonight, has delivered Mr Patrić $60,000 in prize money from the Miles Franklin Trust, managed by Perpetual. As one of the five 2016 finalists, Mr Patrić also received $5,000 in May from the award’s major sponsor, the Copyright Agency.
Mr Patric’s book was selected from a shortlist of exciting Australian authors depicting unforgettable characters including Peggy Frew (Hope Farm), Myfanwy Jones (Leap), Lucy Treloar (Salt Creek) and Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things).
Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said the novel delivered 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 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 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.
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has been supporting the Miles Franklin Literary Award since 2004, providing more than half a million dollars in prize money to all of the finalists in recognition of their achievements.
The Copyright Agency’s Chief Executive, Adam Suckling, said: “While Australians consume culture from all over the world, there’s nothing that resonates more than reading about our own experiences and challenges. The Award is a tremendous recognition of Alec’s emergence as an exciting and compelling writer who is bringing incredible Australian stories to life.”
Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, said: “The Miles Franklin Award is a prime example of how philanthropy can impact the lives of others for generations.
“This year’s Award brings the total prize money distributed by Perpetual on behalf of Miles Franklin to more than $1 million dollars, confirming her gift is still well and truly alive. We are privileged to be a part of such an important legacy,” Ms Fay said.
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