Some speculation about the Miles Franklin award aka ‘this is Australia’

good daughter by honey brown

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.

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