See the 2019 Miles Franklin shortlist!

by |July 3, 2019
2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

The 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist was announced last night at a ceremony held at the State Library of NSW.

It’s a list that includes three novelists who are making the shortlist for the first time (Gregory Day, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, and Jennifer Mills), along with two-time winner Rodney Hall and previous nominees Gail Jones and Melissa Lucashenko.

Bernadette Brennan, speaking on behalf of the Miles Franklin judging panel, said, “Each writer has been unafraid to take risks in their narrative, in one or more of structure, subject matter or style.”

The $60,000 prize for fiction will be awarded on 30 July – scroll down to check out the full shortlist!


A Stolen Season

by Rodney Hall

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

Adam’s life has been ruined by war… A veteran of the Iraq conflict who has suffered such extensive bodily trauma that he can only really survive by means of a mechanical skeleton.

Marianna’s has been ruined by men… A woman who has had to flee the country after her husband lied to the wrong people.

John Philip’s by too much money… A man who inherits the lost erotic drawings of J. M. W. Turner in the evening of his own life.

Rodney Hall presents the interwoven story of three people experiencing a period of life they never thought possible and, perhaps, should never have been granted at all. Each sets out along a separate path, seeking a stolen season in which they can live on their own terms.

Buy it here.


Dyschronia

by Jennifer Mills

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

One morning, the residents of a coastal small town wake to discover the sea has disappeared, leaving them ‘landlocked’. However, the narrator has been seeing visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that skews her perception of time? Or is she just a liar?

Mills’ novel takes contemporary issues of resource depletion and climate change and welds them to one young woman’s migraine-inducing nightmares. Her narrator’s prevision anticipates a world where entire communities are left to fend for themselves: economically drained, socially fractured, trapped between a hardscrabble past and an uncertain future.

Buy it here.


The Death of Noah Glass

by Gail Jones

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block. His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating.

None of it makes any sense. Martin sets off to Palermo in search of answers about his father’s activities, while Evie moves into Noah’s apartment, waiting to learn where her life might take her. Retracing their father’s steps in their own way, neither of his children can see the path ahead.

Buy it here.


A Sand Archive

by Gregory Day

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

Seeking stories of Australia’s Great Ocean Road, a young writer stumbles across a small, technical manual from a minor player in the road’s history: Dune Stabilisation and Other Engineering Difficulties by FB Herschell. It is a volume unremarkable in every way, save for the surprising portrait of its author that can be read between its lines: a vision of a man who writes with uncanny poetry about sand.

And as he continues to mine the archive of FB Herschell – engineer, historian, philosopher – it is not the subject, but the man who begins to fascinate. A man whose private revolution among the streets of Paris and dunes of France begins to change the way he sees Australia’s most famous coastal road…

Buy it here.


Too Much Lip

by Melissa Lucashenko

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.

Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.

Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.

Buy it here.


The Lebs

by Michael Mohammed Ahmad

2019 Miles Franklin shortlist

‘Bani Adam thinks he’s better than us!’ they say over and over until finally I shout back, ‘Shut up, I have something to say!’ They all go quiet and wait for me to explain myself, redeem myself, pull my shirt out, rejoin the pack. I hold their anticipation for three seconds, and then, while they’re all ablaze, I say out loud, ‘I do think I’m better.’

As far as Bani Adam is concerned Punchbowl Boys is the arse end of the earth. Though he’s a Leb and they control the school, Bani feels at odds with the other students, who just don’t seem to care. He is a romantic in a sea of hypermasculinity.

Bani must come to terms with his place in this hostile, hopeless world, while dreaming of so much more.

Buy it here.


Shop the full shortlist!

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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