Miles Franklin Literary Award

June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Miles Franklin Literary Award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the Will of Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, the author of My Brilliant Career, 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”. 

miles franklin

For the first time ever, this year’s short list for the prestigious Australian award consisted of all female authors.

Romy Ash – Floundering

Annah Faulkner – The Beloved

Michelle de Kretser – Questions of Travel

Drusilla Modjeska – The Mountain

Carrie Tiffany – Mateship with Birds


The Trust Company and the 2013 judges announced Michelle de Kretser as the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award on the 19th of June for her fourth novel, Questions of Travel at an event held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra. Ms de Kretser will receive $60,000 in prize money.

The title is homage to Elizabeth Bishop’s poem of the same name which De Kretser quotes as one of two epigraphs, the second being from E M Forster’s Howard’s End.

Richard Neville, Mitchell librarian at the state library of NSW, said on behalf of the 2013 judging panel: “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.”

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