Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 31, 2015

2015 Miles Franklin Award Longlist

The 2015 Miles Franklin longlist has been announced.  The nominees are

The ones I haven’t read must indeed be terrific to displace the omissions.  Where is Paddy O’Reilly’s The Wonders?  Where is N by John Scott, and To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson?  Where is just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth?  And is it really too much to hope that the MF might think of nominating Gerald Murnane for A Million Windows?

Update: just_a_girl isn’t eligible (see Book to the Future’s comment below).


Responses

  1. just_a_girl was released in 2013 and, sadly, isn’t eligible. I was also hoping to see The Wonders on a prize list this year.

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    • Oh, my mistake. *smacks forehead* So … hmmm… they ignored it the year before …

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      • It missed out on both MF *and* Stella nominations, which is a bit disappointing. I really liked it.

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        • I wish you two had been on the judging panels! Thanks for mentioning it though, I’m chuffed to hear you think it could have been eligible.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t think I could be a very good judge… I would never be able to choose between so many good books to select a winner. It would be like the movie Twelve Angry Men!

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  2. Very much liked “The Wonders”. And I loved Emily Bitto’s “The Strays”, and it’s not there either…

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    • Hi Glen, I don’t know that one, has anyone we trust reviewed it?

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      • Can’t remember the names but several people I trust have been VERY positive about The strays, Lisa.

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        • I have ordered it from the library. I should have picked it up today but I got side-tracked by needing to fence off the vegie patch from the depredations of the our puppy. She’s grown so much, she can get into it now…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. There are a few on the list I haven’t read but I’m hoping for Joan London, I hope her book wins, I thought it superb. To me it is of the ‘highest literary merit’ and ‘shows Australia in any of its phases’. If The Golden Age doesn’t win I bet it goes to Favel Parrett, even though I preferred Shallows to Night. But again, she does write beautifully and I think she’s the real deal, whatever that means.

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    • I agree. The Golden Age is the pick of the bunch IMO. I liked Elizabeth Harrower’s but it is not her best writing. Of the younger writers that I’ve read, Parrett and Piper, they are both on the trajectory towards greatness, but IMO they are not there yet. I would have liked perhaps to see Catherine Harris’s The Family Men there too because it tackles big themes with panache but I hesitate with debut authors even when they show significant promise. IMO the MF is not an encouragement award…

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      • It seems to me ambition or topic or big themes are not what this award is about. I think ambitious and original novels should be rewarded because these days there seems to be a lot of ‘the same’. And I think the interpretation of ‘literary merit’ is stuck with an old view of what is literary versus what is not. I’m not sure what I think about that, but agree this one isn’t an encouragement award. Looking forward to seeing the shortlist.

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        • One day I might write a proper post about what I mean by big themes. I think a lot of our younger writers think that tough childhoods and dysfunctional families are ‘big themes’ but that just shows that they’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the rest of the world, and as you say, it’s more of the same. For me, it means themes like Paddy O’Reilly’s exploration of celebrity and otherness for example.
          As for literary merit: of course that will always change shape and texture, if it didn’t we’d still be reading Victoriana. But while authentic dialogue has a place, I do get tired of authors relying on grotty language all through a book instead of mastery of the pen to evoke troubled people, reading those is too much like hanging out in a smelly toilet. And I’m rather offended by those who say that there should be some sort of cultural moratorium on stories featuring rural life, since when has that stopped being ‘Australia in any of its phases’? I want diverse stories from everywhere. I’m a city person but I want a novel about a drought-stricken farmer struggling with selling out and inheritance issues; I want one that engages with the moral issues of the live cattle trade and intensive farming versus financial imperatives…

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  4. You know how I feel about ‘N’: couldn’t agree more.

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    • I just read Susan Wyndham’s piece about the longlist in the SMH, she notes that many of the books feature family abuse as a reflection of society. Maybe N didn’t fit the theme/judges’ preoccupation?
      (And maybe that’s partly why we liked it!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, thanks for the list, so surprised that To Name Those Lost, not found on the list. I think one of the golden novels will be the winner. Between The Golden Age and Golden Boys. Both authors write truly touching stories.

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    • Sonya Hartnett writes well… but I find her melancholia and sour view of the world oppressive, and though perhaps I shouldn’t say this because I haven’t read much of her recent titles, I don’t think she’s developed much as a writer since her early days.

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  6. Yes, yes and yes, Lisa, agree with all of that. Going to look for Susan’s article now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The one missing for me is Heat & Light by Ellen Van Neerven!

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    • Hi Angela, thanks for dropping by:)
      Yes, of course, I haven’t read that one myself, but I know it’s highly regarded.
      Have you reviewed Tree Palace and Here Come the Dogs? I’ll link to yours if you have….

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    • I loved Heat and Light too – but unfortunately, short story collections aren’t eligible for the Miles Franklin either.

      (I know, I know, I’m *such* a downer…)

      Still, fingers crossed for the Stella!

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      • I don’t suppose you happen to know the eligibility rules re publishing dates? Is it the previous calendar year (Jan-Dec) or is it something else?

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        • I looked it up yesterday because I was curious/a giant nerd. Here’s the official word on publishing dates:

          “For an entry to be valid, the novel must have been first published in any country in the year preceding the award (i.e. published in 2014 for the 2015 Award).”

          The Miles Franklin terms and conditions actually make for interesting reading: http://goo.gl/PUW8u2 (fingers crossed that link works…)

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL Not as nerdy as me, I’ve looked it half a dozen times and not found the answer! So thank you for clarifying it:)

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  8. Very glad to see Tree Palace and Here Come the Dogs there. I would love to read the others.

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