The Trustees of the Miles Franklin Literary Award have announced the 2014 shortlist, which features some of Australia’s most recognised authors.
They are: Richard Flanagan – The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Random House Australia; Fiona McFarlane – The Night Guest, Penguin Group Australia; Cory Taylor – My Beautiful Enemy, Text Publishing; Tim Winton – Eyrie, Penguin Group Australia; Alexis Wright – The Swan Book, Giramondo Publishing; Evie Wyld – All the Birds, Singing, Random House Australia.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award, which was created through the will of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to support authors of Australian literature, was first presented in 1957. Each year the prize is awarded for the novel which is of the “highest literary merit” which presents “Australian Life in any of its phases”.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of New South Wales Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville said it had not been easy this year to select a shortlist from such a strong longlist, given the diversity and achievement represented by those 11 works of fiction.
“All the novels on our shortlist explore fascinating and varied facets of Australian life and experience from prisoner of war camps and a sinister windswept island to a seedy highrise apartment block and a future dystopia where Swan Lake becomes a polluted pond in a high energy narrative unlike anything ever heard before in Australian literature,” Mr Neville said.
Joining Mr Neville on the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award judging panel are: The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren; Sydney-based bookseller, Anna Low; biographer, book historian, publishing editor, and Queensland Writers Centre founding chair; Craig Munro; and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
Perpetual’s General Manager of Philanthropy, Andrew Thomas, said that with its own rich heritage as a Trustee company, Perpetual is delighted to see Miles Franklin’s legacy brought to life through the shortlist.
“As Trustee, Perpetual shares with Miles Franklin a commitment to protecting and growing a legacy which is being brought to life through this award,” Mr Thomas said.
“The award enabled Miles Franklin to create something that was important to her which, six decades later, is also now important to the broader Australian literary community. The shortlist announcement is another stage of that journey to support the continuing development of Australian literature, which Perpetual is proud to be part of.”
To encourage people to read all six shortlisted novels and support Australian literature, Perpetual has launched the Miles of Reading Challenge. Readers of the novels can take part in the challenge and share their book reviews at www.milesfranklin.com.au/challenge.
The winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award will be announced on Thursday 26 June 2014.[related_ad category=”1005″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Offers”] [related_ad category=”8″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Stories”]