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Miles Franklin Award

Named after famed author Stella Miles Franklin, the Miles Franklin Award is presented to great works of literature and that best illustrates Australian life. Stella Miles Franklin was an award-winning author during the turn of the century, and unbeknownst to anyone, she saved all of her money so it could be used to fund this award. This is particularly notable as she was never wealthy and often had to scrape by herself.

The first recipient of the Miles Franklin Award was Patrick White in 1957 for his novel Voss. Back then the cash prize was only £500, but winners now receive a cash prize of $60,000.

Due to the award parameters that insist that nominated works must present life in Australia in any of its phases, there has been some resulting controversy as to what exactly that could entail. Author Frank Moorhouse was disqualified from consideration for his novel Grand Days because the story was set in Europe during the 1920?s. However, Moorhouse went on to win the Miles Franklin Award in 2001 for his later novel, Dark Palace.

Perhaps the biggest controversy concerning the Miles Franklin Award concerned author Helen Darville, also known as Helen Demidenko. Her novel The Hand that Signed the Paper won the Miles Franklin Award in 1995, and the Australian literary community erupted in response. There has been much speculation about the historical accuracy, alleged anti-Semitism, and even the true ethnic identity of the author. Many have since argued that Darville should not have been nominated for the award, and the reputation of the Miles Franklin Award took a swift hit. However, there has been little controversy since then, and the Miles Franklin Award continues to be one of the most prestigious literary awards in Australia.

Other past winners have included Thea Astley for The Slow Natives, Peter Casey for Bliss, and Andrew McGahan for The White Earth.

2010 Winner

Truth

Truth By Peter Temple

PETER TEMPLE has worked extensively as a journalist and editor for newspapers and magazines in several countries. He has won five Ned Kelly Awards for his novels, and won the world's most prestigious crime-writing prize, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger. His... read more


2006 Winner

The Ballad Of Desmond Kale

The Ballad Of Desmond Kale By Roger McDonald

"Miles Franklin literary award 2006 winner"--Cover. "A Vintage book"--T.p. verso.


2002 Winner

Dirt Music

Dirt Music By Tim Winton

Dirt Music by Tim Winton is a Booker prize shortlisted novel from 2001 and winner of the 2002 Miles Franklin Award. The harsh, unyielding climate of Western Australia dominates the actions and events of this thriller.


2000 Winner

Drylands

Drylands By Thea Astley

Drylands (1999) (subtitled "A Book for the World's Last Reader") is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Thea Astley. This novel shared the award with Benang by Kim Scott.


2000 Winner

Benang

Benang By Kim Scott

Benang (subtitled "From the Heart") is a 1999 Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Kim Scott. The award was shared with Drylands by Thea Astley. Reviewing the novel for The Hindu, K. Kunhikrishnan wrote: "For writing... read more


1999 Winner

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus By Murray Bail

The gruff widower Holland has two possessions he cherishes above all others: his sprawling property of eucalyptus trees and his ravishingly beautiful daughter, Ellen. When Ellen turns nineteen Holland makes an announcement: she may marry only the ma... read more


1998 Winner

Jack Maggs

Jack Maggs By Peter Carey

Jack Maggs (1997) is a novel by Peter Carey.


1997 Winner

The Glade Within the Grove

The Glade Within the Grove By David Foster

The Glade Within the Grove is a 1996 novel by David Foster. It won the 1997 Miles Franklin Award.


1996 Winner

Highways To a War By Koch Christopher

Highways to a War is a Miles Franklin Award-winning novel by Australian author Christopher Koch. In an interview in 2000, Koch noted that this novel, and his later work Out of Ireland, formed a diptych called Beware of the Past.


1994 Winner

The Grisly Wife

The Grisly Wife By Rodney Hall

The Grisly Wife is a 1993 Miles Franklin literary award winning novel by the Australian author Rodney Hall. The Miles Franklin Award Judges' Report called it "a novel with a rather surprising vision. " This novel is the third book in Th... read more


1993 Winner

The Ancestor Game

The Ancestor Game By Alex Miller

The Ancestor Game is a 1992 Miles Franklin literary award winning novel by the Australian author Alex Miller.


1992 Winner

Cloudstreet

Cloudstreet By Tim Winton

Cloudstreet is a novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. It chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, over a period of twenty years, 1943 - 1963. It was the recipient of a Mitchell Bur... read more


1991 Winner

The Great World

The Great World By David Malouf

The Great World is a 1990 Miles Franklin literary award winning novel by the Australian author David Malouf.


1990 Winner

Oceana Fine

Oceana Fine By Tom Flood

Oceana Fine is a 1989 Miles Franklin literary award winning novel by the Australian author Tom Flood.


1989 Winner

Oscar and Lucinda

Oscar and Lucinda By Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda is a novel by Peter Carey, which won the 1988 Booker Prize, and the 1989 Miles Franklin Award. It tells the story of Oscar Hopkins, the Cornish son of a Plymouth Brethren minister who becomes an Anglican priest, and Lucinda Leplastr... read more


1987 Winner

Dancing On Coral

Dancing On Coral By Glenda Adams

Dancing on Coral is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Glenda Adams.


1985 Winner

The Doubleman

The Doubleman By Koch Christopher

The Doubleman is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Christopher Koch.


1984 Winner

Shallows

Shallows By Tim Winton

Shallows is a 1984 novel by Australian author Tim Winton about whaling. Shallows won the 1984 Miles Franklin Award. Carolyn See called it "a dark masterpiece that ranks with (or above?) "Moby-Dick."


1982 Winner

Just Relations

Just Relations By Rodney Hall

Just Relations is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Rodney Hall. The novel won the Miles Franklin Award, the FAW ANA Literature Award, and the FAW Barbara Ramsden Award for the Book of the Year, in 1982.


1979 Winner

A Woman Of the Future

A Woman Of the Future By David Ireland

A Woman of the Future is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author David Ireland.


1978 Winner

Tirra Lirra By the River

Tirra Lirra By the River By Jessica Anderson

Tirra Lirra By the River is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Jessica Anderson.


1977 Winner

Swords and Crowns and Rings

Swords and Crowns and Rings By Ruth Park

Swords and Crowns and Rings is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Ruth Park.


1975 Winner

Poor Fellow My Country

Poor Fellow My Country By Xavier Herbert

Poor Fellow My Country is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Xavier Herbert. It is the longest Australian book ever written. Primarily, it is the story of Jeremy Delacy and his illegitimate grandson Prindy in the years leading ... read more


1974 Winner

Mango Tree, The

Mango Tree, The By Ronald McKie

The Mango Tree is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Ronald McKie.


1971 Winner

The Unknown Industrial Prisoner

The Unknown Industrial Prisoner By David Ireland

The Unknown Industrial Prisoner is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author David Ireland.


1970 Winner

A Horse Of Air

A Horse Of Air By Dal Stivens

A Horse of Air is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Dal Stivens. The horse of the title makes reference to the Australian Aboriginal term for the night parrot. When horses where first introduced to the Australian mainland, the... read more


1969 Winner

Clean Straw For Nothing By George Johnston

Clean Straw for Nothing is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author George Johnston. This novel is a sequel to My Brother Jack.


1968 Winner

Three Cheers For the Paraclete

Three Cheers For the Paraclete By Thomas Keneally

Three Cheers for the Paraclete is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Thomas Keneally.


1967 Winner

Bring Larks and Heroes

Bring Larks and Heroes By Thomas Keneally

Bring Larks and Heroes is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Thomas Keneally.


1965 Winner

Slow Natives

Slow Natives By Thea Astley

The Slow Natives (1965) is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Thea Astley, the first of her record number of four wins. It also won the 1965 Moomba Award.


1964 Winner

My Brother Jack

My Brother Jack By George Johnston

My Brother Jack is a classic Australian novel by writer George Johnston. It is part of a trilogy centring on the character of David Meredith. The other books in the trilogy are Clean Straw for Nothing and A Cartload of Clay.


1962 Winner

The Cupboard Under the Stairs By George Turner

The Cupboard Under the Stairs is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author George Turner. This novel shared the award with The Well Dressed Explorer by Thea Astley. The novel tells the story of Harry White, who attempts to rebuild his... read more


1962 Winner

The Well Dressed Explorer By Thea Astley

The Well Dressed Explorer (1962) is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Thea Astley. This novel shared the award with The Cupboard Under the Stairs by George Turner.


1961 Winner

Riders In the Chariot

Riders In the Chariot By Patrick White

Riders in the Chariot is the sixth published novel by Australian Author Patrick White, Nobel Prize winner of 1973. It was published in 1961 and won the Miles Franklin Award in that year. It also won the 1965 Gold Medal of the Australian Literature So... read more


1960 Winner

The Irishman By Elizabeth O'Connor

The Irishman is a Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Elizabeth O'Conner. The novel deals with the experiences of Paddy Doolan, an Irish teamster, and his sons in the Gulf Country in the north of Australia.


1959 Winner

The Big Fellow By Vance Palmer

The Big Fellow is a 1937 biography of the famed Irish leader, Michael Collins, by Frank O'Connor. The Big Fellow covers the period of Collins's life from the Easter Rising in 1916 to his death during the Irish Civil War in 1922. Unlike most c... read more


1958 Winner

To the Islands

To the Islands By Randolph Stow

To the Islands is a Miles Franklin Award-winning novel by Australian author Randolph Stow.


1957 Winner

Voss

Voss By Patrick White

PATRICK WHITE (1912-1990), an Australian novelist and playwright, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973. His novel The Vivisector was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010.


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