The shortlist of books in the running for Australia's most prestigious literary prize has been announced - and there are a few surprises.
Congratulations to all five authors whose books make up this year's Miles Franklin shortlist. Three debut novels have made the cut this year - Anna Funder's All That I Am, Favel Parrett's Past The Shallows and Tony Birch's Blood.
The award is widely known as Australia's oldest and most prestigious literary prize, awarding $50,000 to a novel of the highest literary merit which represents 'Australian life in any of its phases'.
The winner will be announced on June 20. Here's the full shortlist:
Edith Campbell Berry and her now husband Ambrose Westwood are now back from one of the oldest cities of the world to live in the newest city of the world. Edith has ambitions to be Australia's first female Ambassador and is seeking a position in Canberra with the Department of External Affairs. Finding her ambitions thwarted in this area Edith vigorously involves herself in the building of the new centre of civilization.
"This is a fractured fairytale, a dark Australian road story, but also an affecting tale about the bond between a brother and sister, and how the most unexpected people can transform lives. Birch delivers edge-of-your-seat suspense and engrossing characterisation in equal measures." - Our review by Jo Case.
"Foal’s Bread is Gillian Mears’s first novel in sixteen years and for those of us who loved The Grass Sister, it is well worth the wait. The desire and the emotions that lie just beneath the sun-worn skin of the characters is so present and electric that at times it feels as though lightning will strike the reader." - Our review by Pip Newling.
All That I Am
"Funder’s majestic journalistic capabilities delve into an intoxicating period in Berlin, just before and immediately after Hitler’s election to power...Funder writes beautifully, with a telling sensitivity towards her characters that makes her novel an exceptional meditation on politics, loss and memory." - Our review by Justine Douglas.
Past the Shallows
"Past the Shallows is an extraordinary debut. The directness and simplicity of Parrett’s writing belies an astonishing sensitivity to the secret lives of these boys and the brutal environment that has shaped them." - Our review by Justine Douglas.