Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Miles Franklin longlist out ... I want to, but I can't :-(

Well, the Miles Franklin longlist was announced yesterday, and it's another interesting selection. The 10 titles are:

Romy Ash – Floundering
Lily Brett – Lola Bensky
Brian Castro – Street to Street
Michelle de Kretser – Questions of Travel
Annah Faulkner – The Beloved
Tom Keneally – The Daughters of Mars
Drusilla Modjeska – The Mountain
M.L.Stedman – The Light Between Oceans
Carrie Tiffany – Mateship with Birds
Jacqueline Wright – Red Dirt Talking

The first thing that's worth noting is that three books overlap with the Stella longlist - Floundering, Questions of Travel and Mateship with Birds. Indeed, two of these - Questions of Travel and Mateship with Birds - also appear on the Stella shortlist, making them illustrious indeed.

It's also worth noting that this list features 8 books by women and 5 debuts, and only one book by a former Miles Franklin winner. I think that is rather refreshing; it's nice to see new(ish) names and books getting a chance for some recognition.

Normally, I'd be all gung ho to hop into this list, but two things mean that I'm going to hold fire this time:
1. School holidays for the kids, but not work holidays for me, means I'll be even busier than usual in the coming three weeks
2. I'm still reading some of the Nebula award nominated books and I don't feel up to taking on more than one reading challenge at a time.

Of course, I've already read two of these anyway - Floundering and Questions of Travel - and I'd already decided to read Mateship with Birds, which was one of the two books that ended up on the Stella shortlist that I have yet to read. (The other, which is also in my sights, is The Sunlit Zone). And Twitter friends assure me that The Mountain is wonderful, so it's next in the queue.

The Miles Franklin shortlist is out on 30 April, so I'll see how I'm going (and feeling) by then. I might pick this up at that juncture. Or perhaps not, we'll see.

Either way, it does look like a wonderful list ... and a great showcase of Australian literary talent.


  1. Well dang. Was looking forward to your comments on Light Between Oceans as Marieke Hardy tweeted how much she loathed it when the long list was announced.

    1. Just for you I shall see what i can do about getting to that one, then!

  2. We had our best book club discussion to date over The Light Between Oceans.

    1. Very clearly, this book is one I need to make time for if it is provoking strong reactions and good discussions!