Melissa Lucashenko was announced the winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin literary award on 30 July for her novel Too Much Lip. The Miles Franklin Award was established in 1957 by author Miles Franklin, awarded to authors for the “advancement, improvement and betterment of Australian literature” and recognises the novel of “the highest literary merit” which presents “Australian life in any of its phases”.
The award has provided Australian authors with more than $1.2 million, with Lucashenko receiving $60,000 this year.
Lucashenko said, “It’s kind of terrifying. I only recently realised that I could be doing so much more in my writing and now this goes and happens. I have no idea what to do next, other than keep plugging away at my civilising mission to mainstream Australia.” The shortlist included Rodney Hall for A Stolen Season; Gail Jones for The Death of Noah Glass; Michael Mohammed Ahmad for The Lebs, Gregory Day for A Sand Archive, and Jennifer Mills for Dyschronia.
Richard Neville, chair of the judging panel said, “Too Much Lip is driven by personal experience, historical injustice, anger and what in Indigenous vernacular could be described as ‘deadly Blak’ humour. Lucashenko weaves a fabulous tale with the very real politics of cultural survival to offer a story of hope and redemption for all Australians.” Caitriona Fay, General Manager of Perpetual said, “The Miles Franklin Literary Award has become Australia’s most prestigious literary prize because of the way it offers new perspectives on Australian culture and society, and continues to create community benefits. We are privileged to be part of keeping Miles Franklin’s legacy alive and demonstrating how philanthropy can affect positive change for generations. Congratulations again to all of this year’s finalists.”
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