2005 Miles Frankin Award Winner

Andrew McGahan's The White Earth was last night announced as the winner of the 2005 Miles Franklin Award. "The Australian" referred to the book as "a psychologically complex tale of power, passion, dynasty and dispossession set in a landscape not too dissimilar to the Queensland wheatlands of the author's childhood."

"The Age" relegated the news of the annoucement to page 9, but at least carried a photo of the author, and reproduced the book jacket. Jason Steger, "The Age"'s literary editor wrote that: "The White Earth is a family saga set in Queensland's Darling Downs wheat belt that manages to tackle a number of contemporary political issues, including the question of native title and the relationship of white Australians to the land."

In "The Sydney Morning Herald", Catherine Keenan reported that, while the decision on the winner was strongly debated, the final result was unanimous. And that "when Andrew McGahan won Australia's richest literary gong yesterday, it caused barely a ripple of surprise. He was the most fancied and best-known author on a shortlist light on famous names. And his novel, The White Earth, was the most obviously prize-worthy, an ambitious, gothic-tinged saga of the land that perfectly fulfilled the criteria of literary merit combined with a focus on Australian life."

Interestingly enough, the readers' poll in "The Age" that was referred to here in Matilda yesterday, only had The White Earth as second favourite with 23% of the vote, behind The Submerged Cathedral with 27%. This was from a final tally of 133 votes. And for those who are now heartily sick of reading about the award I guess we can put it to rest for 10 months or so. What a relief.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 24, 2005 9:08 AM.

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