The 2020 Miles Franklin Award shortlist unveiled

Miles Franklin

The shortlist for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced yesterday evening. As has become the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic the announcement was made online via a live YouTube presentation. 

The award, established in 1954, celebrates the best of Australian character and creativity whilst recognising “the novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian Life in any of its phases”. Each of the six shortlisted authors will receive $5000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, while the winner will take home the prestigious $60,0000 main prize. Chair of the Judging Panel and Mitchell Librarian of the State Library of NSW, Richard Neville, had this to say of the shortlist:

 “The books on this year’s shortlist, diverse in form and tone, all explore the effects of trauma. From familial stories of neglect and abuse to the national story of racial and cultural dispossession, these novels demonstrate powerfully how past trauma continues to inform the present”.

The 2020 shortlist is:

  • The White Girl by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)
  • Islands by Peggy Frew (Allen & Unwin)
  • No One by John Hughes (UWA Publishing)
  • The Returns by Philip Salom (Transit Lounge)
  • Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany (Text Publishing)
  • The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Australia)

The 2020 winner will be announced on July 16th. For more information about the Miles Franklin Literary Award head HERE. 

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.