A Strong Showing
On The Longlist
Anna Funder, Kate Grenville (pictured), Gillian Mears, and Charlotte Wood are just some of the names on the recently announced Miles Franklin Award longlist. It includes seven female writers amongst the 13 authors.
The literary award, begun by the writer Stella Miles Franklin mid-way through last century, has lately suffered some controversy, with no female authors appearing on the shortlist for two of the last three years.
Many reckon this year offers a strong opportunity for a female presence on the shortlist — let alone a woman going on to win the big prize — which has only been won by a female author 13 times in the 55 year history of the annual award.
The 2011 longlist included only three women amongst nine authors, and its shortlist was totally bereft of a female presence.
Favel Parrett is another of the names on the list, along with her old writing teacher Alex Miller. She recently spoke with the Sydney Morning Herald, noting the importance of getting out of the writing studio and into the natural world, especially for some surfing.
"It clears the mind enough to let connections in the writing become clear. The web is made clear in those moments — the joining of themes and ideas. A magic thing happens," she said.
Her novel, Past the Shallows, is based in Tasmania, with strong nautical themes. It explores a fractured relationship between a father — an abalone fisherman — and his sons.
The shortlist will be announced on May 3 and the award presented on June 20.
Image courtesy of Daniel Deme / WENN