We had a great discussion about the Miles Franklin Literary Award nominated books and tried to predict the winner. The favourite is Storyland by Catherine McKinnon, simply because more people enjoyed this one. No votes were received for The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser so that could be an ‘omen’ bet for the awards. A few chose Gerald Murnane as they thought it was time he was recognised for his writing and there a was a vote each for the other nominated books. Good Luck everyone! The winner is announced on Sunday 26 August.
Miles Franklin Literary Award Shortlisted Books Pageturner comments:
No More Boats by Felicity Castanga a story of migrants, set in Parramatta, “political back story, cynical about Australian history, good writing, strong story.”
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser – revolving around three characters in Sydney Paris and Sri Lanka, “I read it but I can’t remember anything about it, lovely writing, beautiful descriptions, only read half of it, I was bored, too clever with words, tedious, waste of time, jumped from character to character, it is interesting enough to be a winner this year.”
The Last Garden by Eva Hornung – When Matthias Oriaon shoots his wife and himself, on the same day their son Benedict returns from boarding school, a small religious community is shattered, “gets you in straight away, she writes so well, thought-provoking. I’m voting for it.”
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon – Set on Lake Illawarra, this is a compelling novel of five separate narratives which span four centuries. “Really liked this book, loved how the place followed through the years and the characters were gently linked through time, I loved the way she segued from one character to the next in the middle of a sentence, I didn’t like the futuristic 2033, vividly presented, nested narratives, lots of loose ends, gaps in time, strength in the setting and geography, the land is the main character, cleverly put together, some stories didn’t finish, there was no value in the narrative jump, I enjoyed it the most.”
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane – Similar to the author himself, the narrator has moved from bustling Melbourne to a small town on the Wimmera Plains where he intends to spend the last years of his life. Critic says “meditating on fragments of his past, exhaustively and compulsively,” “should’ve kept his thoughts to himself, every page seemed to be the same, this author is well regarded overseas but not widely recognised in Australia.”
Taboo by Kim Scott – set in present day Western Australia this novel tells the story of a group of Noongar people, “portrayal of families, quite dull to listen to may be different when reading the book, cryptic writing, not an easy read, strong send of place coming through.”
And who are the judges?:
Traditionally, the serving Mitchell Librarian has always been a fixture on the judging panel. Other vacancies are filled by recommendations from past judges, in consultation with the Award’s trustees, Perpetual as Trustee. 2018 Judges: https://www.perpetual.com.au/milesfranklin/about-the-award
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 12th September to talk about Warlight by Michael Ondaatje.
The publisher says: From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerising new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.