The 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist was announced last night, with a 2017 Stella Prize shortlistee (Emily Maguire), two poets ( Philip Salom and Mark O’Flynn) and two university teachers (Ryan O’Neill and Jospehine Wilson) making the list.
Of the finalists, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville said on behalf of the judges: “None of these novels draws on familiar tropes of Australian literature, yet each brings a distinctive pitch of truth and insight into the Australian experience. (They) explore the restorative power of love, the pernicious influence of the past on the present, the tragedy of the present avoiding the past, the challenge of unconventional identities, the interweaving of lives across communities, the devastation of grief, and the war zone that is the media, masculinity and a small country town.”
The Miles Franklin Literary Award was established in 1957 through the will of writer Stella Miles Franklin. Her will stipulates that ‘[the] prize shall be awarded for the Novel for the year which is of the highest literary merit and which must present Australian Life in any of its phases …’
The winner of the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award will receive $60,000 in prize money. The winner will be announced 7 September, 2017.
2017 Miles Franklin Shortlist
An Isolated Incident
by Emily Maguire
When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm descends.
Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, whose apparent easygoing nature conceals hard-won wisdom and the kind of street-smarts only experience can bring.
As Chris is plunged into despair and searches for answers, reasons, explanation – anything – that could make even the smallest sense of Bella’s death, her ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her. But as the days tick by with no arrest, Chris’s suspicion… Learn more.
by Philip Salom
Big is a hefty cross-dresser and Little is little.
Both are long used to the routines of boarding house life in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, but Little, with the prospect of an inheritance, is worrying Big with by indulging in dreams of home owenership. Little’s cousin, Angus, is a solitary man who designs lake-scapes for city councils, and fireproof houses for the bushfire zone. A handy man, he meets Jasmin – an academic who races in her ideas as much as in her runners. Her head is set on publishing semiotics books on semiotics, her heart is turned towards her stalled personal life. All four are waiting, for something, if not someone… Learn more.
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.