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.
- Romy Ash – Floundering (Text) (See my review)
- Lily Brett – Lola Bensky (Hamish Hamilton)
- Brian Castro – Street to Street (Giramondo) See my review
- Michelle de Kretser – Questions of Travel (A&U) See my review and a Sensational Snippet
- Annah Faulkner – The Beloved (Picador) (See my review)
- Tom Keneally – The Daughters of Mars (Vintage) See my review
- Drusilla Modjeska – The Mountain (Vintage) See my review
- M.L.Stedman – The Light Between Oceans (Vintage) See my review
- Carrie Tiffany – Mateship with Birds (Picador) See my review and a Sensational Snippet
- Jacqueline Wright – Red Dirt Talking (Fremantle Press) See my review and a Sensational Snippet.
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 this 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!