Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 26, 2013

2013 Miles Franklin Longlist


2013 Miles Franklin

2013 Miles Franklin Award

The 2013 Miles Franklin longlist was announced today.  Not with a convenient email in my inbox although I’m on their mailing list, but apparently with an irritating drip-feed of tweets.  It might interest the publicist to know that although I follow the MF on Twitter, I follow a lot of other people too, and by the time I got home from work there was no sign of any tweets from the MF, it had simply dropped off the bottom of the feed.

Anyway,  here’s the shortlist.

I am surprised to see The Mountain included. It’s a great book of great literary merit, but it’s about pre-and post independence in New Guinea, and while there are some Australian expats among the cast of characters, its central characters aren’t Australian.  While I was expecting to see ththis very fine book included in various shortlists, I don’t think it complies with either the terms or the spirit of Miles Franklin’s bequest i.e. that the novel be about ‘Australian life in all its phases’.  (Yes, I am going to keep going on and on about this, I take very strong exception to people interfering with the clearly expressed wishes of anyone who bequeaths money for any purpose, and especially when it involves a prize for Australian authors about Australian life that I had planned to contribute to in my own Will.)

I am disappointed to see that  Whisky Charlie Foxtrot by Annabel Smith wasn’t included.  (To see why it should have made the cut, click the title link to read my review).

Congratulations to all the authors and publishers!

Floundering Lola Bensky Street to Street Questions of Travel The Beloved The Daughters of Mars The Mountain The Light Between Oceans Mateship with Birds Red Dirt Talking


Responses

  1. I’ve only read one of these—that to-read list of mine is getting out of control! Like you, I was hoping to see Whisky Charlie Foxtrot there.

  2. Interesting shortlist, Lisa! Thanks for posting it. I haven’t read any of the books, but nice to see Tom Keneally and M.L.Stedman on the list. Sorry to know that one of the novels included is not ‘Australian’. It is sad that the prize organizers didn’t send an email on the longlist. Don’t they have a website where they post the longlist?

    • HI Vishy, yes they do have a website, but I like the courtesy of an email, which is what we’ve had in previous years!

  3. I don’t want to sound contrary, but isn’t The Mountain set almost exclusively in Australia? PNG was a part of Australia until 1975… My dad was born in PNG in the 50s, and is definitely an Australian.

    • *chuckle* This reminds me of The Spouse’s anecdote about his father telling him that he (born around the same time as your father and before Gough Whitlam’s mid 1970s reforms) was a *British* subject. As a born-and-bred Aussie he was very indignant about that.
      I wonder, prior to independence, did the indigenous people of PNG have Australian birth certificates and a right to live here? Were they ‘definitely’ Australian?

      • That’s an interesting question. I don’t actually know the answer. I shall try to find out.

        Either way, I’m willing to say any book set in PNG before 1975 comes under “Australian life in all its phases” – particularly since The Mountain is also about white Australians visiting PNG.

        • Well, there we must disagree. Never mind, the MF judges are on your side, and I do like the book!

          • Ironically, I gave up on it halfway, so I don’t even mind if it’s there or not!

  4. I have read three on the list and did enjoy Mateship With Birds, Floundering and Questions of Travel. I will read Tom Keneally’s book as I have heard good reports for The Daughters of Mars, but won’t read anymore from the list until the short list is known.

    Meg

    • Yes, and I also want to be sure that the titles I don’t know are actually literary fiction. That’s my reading preference and that’s what I review here. Sometimes the line is blurred, but I’ve been caught before by MF longlisting and been disappointed.

  5. I didn’t see any of the MF tweets either. The first I knew that they had announced in that way was when someone posted about it saying how good it was but, of course, they were on Twitter at the time and therefore got to see it as it happened!

    I have read the Thomas Keneally. I liked it, but I didn’t think it was spectacular.

    • Let’s hope they don’t do it like that next year, I really think that they should have considered the diversity of their audience… Have you got a review of the Keneally on your blog that I can link to, Marg?

  6. You’ve read six out of ten — I am impressed. Does that mean it is too early to let us know if you have a personal favorite?

    • *chuckle* No chance, Kevin, not yet! I will say that there are a couple there that I decided not to read when they were released but there are also two that I’ve never heard of. That could be a good sign, or a bad sign, eh?

  7. strange there is more women this year isn’t it I feel after the Stella has started ,love to see who wins it ,as it means they will probably get published here as well ,all the best stu

    • Yes, it seems a bit odd to me that Christopher Koch’s Lost Voices isn’t on the list. He’s one of our top authors, and I bought his book as soon as it came out but haven’t read it yet. I hope to get to it soon, but there are all those IFFP books to get through first!


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