Monday, 30 May 2016

Miles Franklin Award Shortlist 2016

On 29 May 2016, the shortlist for the 2016 Award was announced, consisting of:

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew
In this coming of age story set in the 1980s, thirteen year old Silver is taken to a hippie commune by her mother.  Silver longs for stability, while her mother is infatuated by the new man in her life. Mother-daughter relationships, growing up, belonging and first loves are explored. This is the second novel from Frew, after her award winning debut House of Sticks (2010). Frew's book was shortlisted for the Stella Prize.

Leap by Myfanwy Jones                              Twenty-two year old Joe is existing, not living. He works dead end jobs, lives day to day, and has abandoned all ambitions. He is struggling with grief, loss, and guilt. Elsie too is struggling through a  bad marriage, spending her days watching tigers at the Melbourne Zoo, trying to cope with her grief. Author of The Rainy Season (2009), Jones is a Melbourne based writer.

Black Rock White City by A C Patric                A Serbian couple have migrated to Melbourne after the Bosnian war. Jovan is a cleaner at a hospital while Suzanah is a carer. Both have unseen scars from the trauma of war, as they rebuild themselves in a new land. AC Patric is an award winning author of short stories, including Las Vegas for Vegans, and this is his first novel. 

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar                                     It's 1855 and fifteen year old Hester Finch lives in Adelaide with her family. Her father decides to move the family to Salt Creek, a remote property in South Australia. Here they learn about the Ngarrindjeri people and adapt to a new life. Treloar is best known for her short stories. Salt Creek is her debut novel.

The Natural Way of Things
 by Charlotte Wood  (read review)
Wood's novel has been compared to Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale and as such is definitely on my reading list. Two women are drugged and taken to an isolated property where they find they are imprisoned with eight other girls. Each has a common past for which they are being punished in this powerful feminist novel. Winner of the Stella Prize 2016.

The prize will be announced in June 2016. I still reckon Charlotte Wood will (and should) win, after receiving the Stella Prize, the Independent Book Award and other accolades.