There's been a hell of a lot of buzz about this year's Miles Franklin award, particularly due to the all-female shortlist. Well, the winner has finally been announced - Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser. Congratulations!
Accompanied by the announcement was the press release below:
“The Miles Franklin Literary Award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the Will of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, to encourage and support writers of Australian literature. The annual Award is presented to the novel of the year which is judged to be of the highest literary merit and “presents Australian Life in any of its phases”. Ms de Kretser will receive $60,000 in prize money.
Speaking on behalf of the 2013 judging panel, Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian, State Library of NSW said the five novels in the 2013 shortlist, were at a surface level all about families.
“Searching for their comfort, the crisis when they fail, escaping their pervasive grasp, or the despair when they do not seem possible – but more deeply these books are about the intersection of people’s lives with national, indeed international, stories and ideas. Each novel approaches its subject from a very different perspective, but all deliver complex, engrossing narratives which persist long after the books are closed,” Mr Neville 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.”