Ten books have been longlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award and eight are by women writers. Two of the longlisted novels have been shortlisted for this year’s Stella prize — The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna and The Golden Age by Joan London. Three titles are by debut novelists — Suzanne McCourt, Omar Musa and Christine Piper.
The 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist is:
Elizabeth Harrower In Certain Circles Text Publishing
Sonya Hartnett Golden Boys Penguin Books Australia
Sofie Laguna The Eye of the Sheep Allen & Unwin
Joan London The Golden Age Random House Australia
Suzanne McCourt The Lost Child Text Publishing
Omar Musa Here Come the Dogs Penguin Books Australia
Favel Parrett When The Night Comes Hachette Australia
Christine Piper After Darkness Allen & Unwin
Craig Sherborne Tree Palace Text Publishing
Inga Simpson Nest Hachette Australia
The judges are: State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville; The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren; Sydney-based bookseller, Lindy Jones; biographer, book historian, publishing editor, and Queensland Writers Centre founding chair Craig Munro and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Richard Neville said this year’s longlist ‘includes some exceptional novels that explore the human condition from many original perspectives.’
‘From a contemporary rap symphony and a 1950s polio love affair, to the suburban father too good to be true and the spiritual journey of an Antarctic supply ship, this year’s Miles Franklin longlist showcases the extraordinary vitality and range of recent Australian fiction,’ he said.
‘Interestingly, a number of the novels are written from the child’s perspective, with unravelling families, or families in tension, driving the narratives,’ Mr Neville said.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is regarded as Australia’s most prestigious literature prize and was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. First awarded in 1957, the prize is awarded each year to the novel which is of ‘the highest literary merit’ and ‘presents Australian life in any of its phases.’ The prize is $60, 000.
The Miles Franklin 2015 shortlist will be announced at the Australian Booksellers Association Conference at the State Library of Victoria on Monday 18 May 2015, following an oration by a former Miles Franklin winner, Steven Carroll. The winner will be revealed on 23 June 2015.
I’m a freelance book reviewer, journalist, writer and editor. I blog over at Wordsville and can be found in the library (I work in one) and on Twitter @PaulaGrunseit