The longlist for this year’s Miles Franklin award has been announced, and there’s Honey Brown on the list. Brown won the Aurealis Award for best horror novel a couple of years back with Red Queen, and last year, Miles Franklin winner Andrew McGahan took the gong for best science fiction novel. I wonder how many others have managed to likewise span the annoying, unnecessary genre gulf?
Last year’s Miles Franklin caused some forelock tugging when it went to a crime novel, Peter Temple’s Truth. This year, it seems, the forelocks will be safe. Here’s the longlist, with an annotated description based on the blurbs:
Rocks in the Belly (Jon Bauer, Scribe): a family power play told from the POV of both a child and the man he becomes.
The Good Daughter (Honey Brown, Penguin): a mysterious disappearance in small country town, Australia.
The Mary Smokes Boys (Patrick Holland, Transit Lounge Publishing): small country town threatened by progress as a young man worries about his sister’s future.
The Piper’s Son (Melina Marchetta, Penguin): a sequel to Saving Francesca, all about family and friends and disappointment.
When Colts Ran (Roger McDonald, Random House): slice of life among the blokes of a, ahem, small country town.
Time’s Long Ruin (Stephen Orr, Wakefield Press): based loosely on the disappearance of the Beaumont children from Glenelg beach.
That Deadman Dance (Kim Scott, Pan Macmillan): culture clash in colonial WA.
The Legacy (Kirsten Tranter, HarperCollins): a woman disappears in the dust cloud of New York City’s 9/11, causing secrets to be uncovered.
Bereft (Chris Womersley, Scribe): family secrets and strife in smalltown NSW in the aftermath of the Great War.
The shortlist will be announced on April 19, with the winner announced on June 22.