South Coast writer Catherine McKinnon up for prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award

Writter Catherine McKinnon at Austinmer. She is the author of Storyland, a series of linking novellas from first settlement to modern day. Picture: Adam McLean
Writter Catherine McKinnon at Austinmer. She is the author of Storyland, a series of linking novellas from first settlement to modern day. Picture: Adam McLean

Illawarra author and playwright Catherine McKinnon has been included in the longlist for one of Australia’s most important literary prizes and a purse of $60,000, for her novel Storyland.

Approaching its 61st year, the annual Miles Franklin Literary Award is given to a novel of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.

McKinnon’s second book uses five interlinking narrators, set on the banks of Lake Illawarra and spanning four centuries.

Cover of Catherine McKinnon's book Storyland.

Cover of Catherine McKinnon's book Storyland.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Richard Mitchell of the State Library of NSW said the longlist spans many genres from historical, fantastical, realist, satirical, allegorical and autobiographical.

“The books take us back in time to consider the effects of the past, or address the issues of contemporary life, or give glimpses of an uncertain, even frightening future,” Mr Mitchell said.

The judging panel also includes journalist for the AustralianMurray Waldren; book critic Melinda Harvey; Abbey’s Bookshop senior book buyer Lindy Jones; and Flinders University academic Susan Sheridan.

Also on the longlist is three times Miles Franklin winner Peter Carey (Jack Maggs, 1998; Oscar and Lucinda, 1989; and Bliss, 1981) who has been longlisted for A Long Way from Home and twice winner Kim Scott for Taboo.

Michelle de Kretser, author of the 2013 Miles Franklin winner Questions of Travel, is nominated for The Life to Come.

The 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist:

  • Peter Carey, A Long Way from Home, Penguin Random House
  • Felicity Castagna, No More Boats, Giramondo Publishing
  • Michelle de Kretser, The Life to Come, Allen & Unwin
  • Lia Hills, The Crying Place, Allen & Unwin
  • Eva Hornung, The Last Garden, Text Publishing
  • Wayne Macauley, Some Tests, Text Publishing
  • Catherine McKinnon, Storyland, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Gerald Murnane, Border Districts, Giramondo Publishing
  • Jane Rawson, From the Wreck, Transit Lounge
  • Michael Sala, The Restorer, Text Publishing
  • Kim Scott, Taboo, Picador Australia (Pan Macmillan Australia)

A shortlist will be announced at the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) conference in Canberra on 17 June and the winning author, who will receive $60,000, will be announced in August. The major winner will be announced on Sunday August 26 in Melbourne.

Perpetual is the Trustee of the award and for more information visit www.milesfranklin.com.au