Big-name authors are missing from the longlist of this year’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award, as new voices and small publishers dominate.
One of these new voices named in the $60,000 award longlist is creative writing teacher and author of Lucky’s, Andrew Pippos. Lucky’s is Pippos’ first-ever novel depicting a multi-generational saga about a Greek immigrant who sets up a franchise of cafes in 1950s Australia.
“Writing is always what I wanted to do, this is the most consistent and pressing ambition of my life to write a novel, and to do it has been enormously gratifying,” Pippos told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Even to have the book published is a big event and to be longlisted for the Miles Franklin is wonderful.”
Pippos tells the newspaper his one regret is that his father was not around to see his book published.
“My father died some years ago. He wasn’t a literary person, he wasn’t a reader at all but I think he would have read this book.”
Other first-time novelists longlisted for the award include Laura Jean McKay for Animals in that Country, Nardi Simpson for Song of the Crocodile and Madeleine Watts for The Inland Sea.
Chairman of judges, Richard Neville, told the SMH the longlist was a mix of well-established, early career and debut novelists whose work range from historical fiction to fabulism and psychologism.
“Through an array of distinctive voices these works invite their readers to engage with questions regarding the natural and animal worlds, asylum, sexual abuse, colonialism, racism, and grief,” Mr Neville, the Mitchell Librarian at the State Library of NSW, said.
“These are stories about trauma and loss, and also about beauty, resilience, and hope.”
The Miles Franklin Literary Award was last year awarded to Tara June Winch for her novel The Yield, the fourth Indigenous writer to win after Melissa Lucashenko, Alexis Wright, and two-time winner Kim Scott.
The shortlisted finalists this year will be announced on June 16 and the winner on July 15.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist:
- Amnesty by Aravind Adiga (Picador)
- The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (Text)
- At the Edge of the Solid World by Daniel Davis Wood (Brio)
- Our Shadows by Gail Jones (Text)
- Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna (A&U)
- The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey (Text)
- The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe)
- Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos (Picador)
- Stone Sky, Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (UQP)
- The Fifth Season by Philip Salom (Transit Lounge)
- Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (Hachette)
- The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts (Pushkin Press)
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.