Miles Franklin Longlist 2021

The longlist for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced this afternoon. What is the Miles Franklin Literary Award (MFLA), I hear some of you ask? According to the MFLA website it is,

“Australia’s most prestigious literary award was established through the will of the writer Stella Miles Franklin, best known for her novel My Brilliant Career. The bequest came as a surprise to the literary world as Franklin had told nobody – save her trustees – of her plans. Miles Franklin had first-hand experience of the struggle to make a living as a writer and was herself the beneficiary of two literary prizes. She was also extremely conscious of the importance of fostering a uniquely Australian literature. She wrote,

Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil.”

Accordingly, the Award is presented each year to a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases. The Miles Franklin was first awarded in 1957. Since then, the annual announcement of the winner has become an event anticipated and discussed throughout Australia and around the world.” 

MFLA website

This year I have read four of the contenders (links to my reviews included in the table below). At this point, my money is on Stone Sky Gold Mountain.

Aravind AdigaAmnestyPan Macmillan Australia
Robbie ArnottThe Rain HeronText Publishing
Daniel Davis WoodAt the Edge of the Solid WorldBrio
Gail JonesOur ShadowsText Publishing
Sofie LagunaInfinite SplendoursAllen & Unwin
Amanda LohreyThe LabyrinthText Publishing
Laura Jean McKayThe Animals in That CountryScribe Publications
Andrew PipposLucky’sPan Macmillan Australia
Mirandi RiwoeStone Sky Gold MountainUniversity of Queensland Press
Philip SalomThe Fifth SeasonTransit Lounge
Nardi SimpsonSong of the CrocodileHachette Australia
Madeleine WattsThe Inland SeaPushkin Press

A number of my fellow bloggers have reviewed most of the other books.

Three books are currently without a review by bloggers known to me – At the Edge of the Solid World, Lucky’s and The Inland Sea. Please let me know if you’ve reviewed one of them; I’d be happy to add your link.

I’d be keen to read Amnesty, The Labyrinth and The Fifth Season, but the rest I can leave for now, unless you can convince me otherwise.

Do you have a favourite on this list? Can you pick the winner?

9 thoughts on “Miles Franklin Longlist 2021

  1. I read one to these books (Nardi Simpson)…but have no interest in the others on the longlist.
    Stella Prize not so stellar this year….waiting for the Walkley Awards Longlist!


      1. Is it too much to expect the right words to say just the right things. (example: Raymond Carver, his short stories are between 3-5 pages and every word knocks my socks off!)

        Sentence Fluency that is smooth and expressive…easy to understand and fun to read (example: Jessica Anderson, her short stories are creative, unpretentious and honest and I was swept away by her 5 autobiographical short stories in “Stories From the Warm Zone”)

        Jaded? Absolutely not….just longing for some great writing and not books churned out to appleal to commercial success. #CriticsBeDamned Write more like Thea Astley!!


        1. I love good writing too but I also love really good storytelling and characters that are well developed. You reminded me of the Jessica Anderson I read a few years ago, The Commandant, which was all that and more. It has stayed with me all this time.

          Liked by 1 person

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