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de Kretser wins Miles Franklin Award


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Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel has won this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.

The novel centres on two characters whose stories of two different journeys are intertwined through a double narrative which the judges said “explores questions of home and away, travel and tourism, refugees and migrants, as well as ‘questions of travel’ in the virtual world, charting the rapid changes in electronic communication that mark our lives today.”

“She brings these large questions close up and personal with her witty and poignant observations and her vivid language,” Richard Neville said on behalf of the panel, which announced its winner today.

Sri Lanka-born de Kretser, who emigrated to Australia at 14, is also the author of The Rose Grower, The Hamilton Case and The Lost Dog, which won the 2008 NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award and was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction.

She is one of five female authors shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin . The others were Romy Ash for Floundering, Annah Faulkner for The Beloved, Drusilla Modjeska for The Mountain and Carrie Tiffany for Mateship with Birds (winner of the 2013 Stella Prize).

Neville said all the novels were about families.

“Searching for their comfort, the crisis when they fail, escaping their pervasive grasp, or the despair when they do not seem possible – but more deeply these books are about the intersection of people’s lives with national, indeed international, stories and ideas.”

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