Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

‘Questions of Travel’ wins 2013 Miles Franklin

Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (A&U) has won this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.

De Kretser’s novel was chosen from a shortlist of five, which included: Floundering (Romy Ash, Text), The Beloved (Annah Faulkner, Picador), The Mountain (Drusilla Modjeska, Vintage) and Mateship with Birds (Carrie Tiffany, Picador). De Kretser will receive a cash prize of $60,000, up from $50,000 last year, and each of the shortlisted authors will receive $5000.

The award was presented at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, with A&U publisher Jane Palfreyman accepting on de Kretser’s behalf as the author is currently participating in the Norwich Worlds Literature Festival in the UK.

Speaking on behalf of the 2013 judging panel, Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian at the State Library of NSW, said: ‘Michelle de Kretser’s wonderful novel, Questions of Travel, centres on two characters, with two stories, each describing a different journey.

‘The stories intertwine and pull against one another, and within this double narrative, de Kretser explores questions of home and away, travel and tourism, refugees and migrants, as well as “questions of travel” in the virtual world, charting the rapid changes in electronic communication that mark our lives today.

‘She brings these large questions close-up and personal with her witty and poignant observations and her vivid language. Her novel is about keeping balance in a speeding, spinning world.’

Simon Lewis, head of community and philanthropy at The Trust Company, said: ‘This year’s award, like so many, has stimulated great discussion and debate—in particular, the all female shortlist. As Trustee, we appoint and charge an expert judging panel to make their selection from the novels of the “highest literary merit” that capture “Australian life in any of its phases”, as per Miles Franklin’s express wish. This year, an exceptional field of authors has won the support of the judges.’

Questions of Travel is de Kretser’s fourth novel. It is shortlisted for this year’s PM’s Literary Prize for Fiction, Kibble Literary Award and ALS Gold Medal, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Stella Prize.

To read a review of Questions of Travel, visit Books+Publishing’s Fancy Goods blog here.



Category: Local news