The six finalists in the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award 2021 were announced on Wednesday night and among them is debut Greek Australian author, Andrew Pippos, with his novel Lucky’s.
Pippos’ book was inspired by his own family story: his ancestors came out from Greece and operated a Greek-Australian cafe in the small town of Brewarrina, NSW, for more than 80 years.
He tells The Australian that being a finalist for the literary award is a “dream.”
“I feel fantastic! I spent years writing this book and I didn’t even know if it would be published. To be short-listed for a big award is a dream,” Pippos told The Australian.
Pippos is among a relatively left-of-field shortlist for Australia’s most famous literary prize. He joins Aravind Adiga nominated for Amnesty, Robbie Arnott for The Rain Heron, Daniel Davis Wood for At the Edge of the Solid World, Amanda Lohrey for The Labyrinth and Madeleine Watts for The Inland Sea.
“In various ways each of this year’s short-listed books investigate destructive loss – of loved ones, freedom, self, and the environment,” State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian and judging panel chair, Richard Neville, said after the announcement.
“There is beauty and joy to be found, and decency and hope, largely through the embrace of community but, as the shortlist reminds us, often community is no match for more powerful forces.”
Longlisted novelists Gail Jones, who has been on the award’s longlist or shortlist six times, and previous Miles Franklin winner, Sofie Laguna, missed out this year.
The winner of the award will be announced on July 15.