Saturday, 26 May 2018

Miles Franklin Award Longlist 2018

The Miles Franklin Award is the most prestigious literary award in Australia, with a cash prize of $60,000 and the opportunity to join the ranks of past winners including Frank Morehouse, Tim Winton, David Malouf, Peter Carey, Sofie Laguna and Anna Funder.

The 2018 Longlist was announced this week and it includes some familiar faces along with those less well known.

The Longlist is:

Peter Carey - A Long Way From Home
Two time Booker Prize winner, and past Miles Franklin Award recipient, Peter Carey's latest novel is set in 1950s Victoria. It revolves around a couple who love cars and embark upon an epic motor challenge to circumnavigate Australia. This is Carey's 14th novel.

Felicity Castagna - No More Boats
In 2001 the Norwegian container ship, Tampa, picked up 438 refugees who were sinking en route to Australia. The captain wanted to dock and offload the refugees, but the Australian government refused access to any port. Castagna uses this event as the backdrop for her novel about migration, multiculturalism and empathy. Castagna previously won the Prime Minister's Literary Award for her book The Incredible Here and Now (2014).

Michelle de Krester - The Life to Come
Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, the satirical story explores themes of intimacy, friendship and loneliness. De Krester won the Miles Franklin Award in 2013 for Questions of Travel. This novel was also on the shortlist for this year's Stella Prize.

Lia Hills - The Crying Place
This is a novel about friendship, grief and guilt. Saul wants to know why his best friend Jed killed himself, so sets out to discover why. He journeys into Central Australia, to the remote Aboriginal Community where Jed recently worked.

Eva Hornung - The Last Garden
In a small Lutheran settlement Warheit, a murder-suicide shatters young Benedict. He hides in a barn with his beloved horses to mourn. The community's spiritual leader Pastor Helfgott watches over the boy. This novel won the 2018 Premier's Award at the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

Wayne Macauley - Some Tests
In this dark satirical novel, aged-care worker Beth is sent to a doctor for some tests. These lead to more tests and referrals to specialists searching for what is wrong with her. But is there actually anything wrong?

Catherine McKinnon - Storyland
In this novel, five interwoven stories explore diverse people in and around  Lake Illawarra over a period of almost 500 years. From Matthew Flinders' first encounter with local indigenous peoples to early colonisation and on through the years to the near-future, the novel blends historical, literary and dystopian fiction.

Gerald Murnane - Border Districts
The New York Times recently called Gerald Murnane "the greatest living English language writer most people have never heard of". I was one of those people and have never read any of his books. This is purported to be his last work. The story revolves around a man who moves from Melbourne to a remote town to live out the rest of his life.

Jane Rawson - From the Wreck
In August 1859 was shipwrecked off the coast of South Australia with most of the passengers clinging to wreckage for days on end before perishing. This novel tells the story of George Hills, one of the survivors and how he made it with supernatural assistance.

Michael Sala - The Restorer
Separated from her husband  Roy for a year, Maryanne decides to give her marriage another try. To rebuild their family life, they move from Sydney to Newcastle and start to restore a derelict property. The novel is told from the perspective of the couples teenage daughter.

Kim Scott - Taboo
Scott has won the Miles Franklin on two previous occasions for his novels: That Deadman Dance (2010) and Benang (1999). His latest novel tells the story of the Noogar people of Western Australia who revisit a site of a massacre. The farmer who owns the land today hopes the presence of these visitors will cleanse the land of its' past sins.

The Shortlist will be announced 17 June 2018 and the winner will be revealed on 26 August.