Josephine Wilson has been awarded the 60th Miles Franklin Literary Award for Extinctions, taking home the $60,000 in prize money.
Extinctions follows retired engineer Frederick Lothian, an expert on concrete who, at 69, relocates himself to a retirement village. His life changes when he strikes up a friendship with his neighbour, Jan, where he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies. Humorous, poignant and galvanising by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.
Wilson has described Extinctions as a novel “trying to come to understand the emotional complexity of belonging”.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is one of Australia’s most high-profile literary prizes for fiction. It 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 …’
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner
Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. His wife, Martha, is dead and his two adult children are lost to him in their own ways. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life – objects he has collected over many years and tells himself he is keeping for his daughter – he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.
When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the ones he loves… Learn more.
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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.