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Miles Franklin 2016 shortlist announced

Books & Poetry

Australia’s most prestigious literature prize shortlist features both well-established and new authors – including first-time nominee Lucy Treloar, whose debut novel ‘Salt Creek’ is set in the Coorong.

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Other authors on the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist are AS Patric (Black Rock White City), Myfanwy Jones (Leap), Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things) and Peggy Frew (Hope Farm).

South Australian writer Stephen Orr’s novel The Hands – An Australian Pastoral had been longlisted for the award.

Judging panel spokesperson Richard Neville, State Library of NSW librarian, said the shortlist of five writers and their novels explored various facets of Australian lifestyle, from “the creation, maintenance and manipulation of identity, the impact of its dislocation, the devastation of its theft, and the consequences of its re-imagination”.

Treloar’s Salt Creek tells the story of a pioneering farming family who move to the Coorong, traditional home of the Ngarrindjeri, in the 1850s (read an extract here).

Jones and Patric are also first-time Miles Franklin nominees. Patric’s novel centres on two traumatised survivors of the Bosnian War now living in Australia, and Jones’ Leap is described as “a beautiful story about the resolution of grief”.

Frew’s Hope Farm explores the broken bonds of childhood and the cost of holding back the truth, while Woods’ The Natural Way of Things – which won the 2016 Stella Prize – tells a story of contemporary misogyny and corporate control.

The winner of the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, who will receive $60,000 in prize money for their novel, will be announced at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival on August 26.

The award was created through the will of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to support authors of Australian literature and was first presented in 1957.

Previous winners include Tim Winton (who has won the prize four times), Anna Funder, Steven Carroll and Thea Astely.

-with AAP

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