Newcomers dominate list of Miles Franklin Literary Award finalists

Four first-time nominees are among those shortlisted for one of Australia’s top book prizes.

Jul 02, 2024, updated Jul 02, 2024
Image: Pauline Loroy/Unsplash

Image: Pauline Loroy/Unsplash

The Miles Franklin award judges say they are “awed by the ambitious sweep and range of the novels” competing for the prestigious $60,000 literary award.

The six finalists for the 2024 Miles Franklin Literary Award were confirmed on Tuesday by award trustee Perpetual and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Newcomers Hossein Asgari, who wrote Only Sound Remains, Jen Craig’s Wall, Andre Dao’s Anam and Hospital by Sanya Rushdi are each up for the award.

Praiseworthy by previous winner Alexis Wright and twice-shortlisted author Gregory Day’s book The Bell of the World rounded out those in the running.

Authors on the shortlist will each receive $5000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Agency chief executive Josephine Johnston said the award showcased the best of Australia’s literary talent.

“With a diverse offering of genre and literary style, and authors emerging and established, the shortlist takes readers on a journey of cultural expression and experience – something we all must treasure,” she said.

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This judging panel comprised the Mitchell Librarian of the State Library of NSW, Richard Neville; literary scholar Jumana Bayeh; literary scholar and translator Mridula Nath Chakraborty, book critic James Ley and author and literary scholar Hsu-Ming Teo.

The judges said they were “awed by the ambitious sweep and range of the novels” nominated.

The winner will be announced on August 1 and receive $60,000.

The award was established in 1954 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin.

The award in 2023 went to Shankari Chandran for Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens.

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