The Shortest List

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The Miles Franklin Award shortlist has been revealed and it seems that this year it is called a short list for a reason.

Only 3 of the 9 long listed nominees made the shortlist of the prestigious award, making it one of the shortest seen in many years.

Making the cut was The Age journalist, Chris Womersley (above) for his second novel Bereft.

The novel tells of an exiled son, during the 1919 plague of Spanish Influenza and has been described by the award’s judging panel as  “a beautifully written book, spare and compelling”.

Past winners, Kim Scott and Roger McDonald are the other nominees for 2011.

Scott, who previously won the award in 2006, has been nominated for his novel That Deadman’s Dance, about a young Aboriginal boy in the 19th Century during colonization.

Rodger McDonald’s first Miles Franklin win came in 2000, and this year his nomination has come for the novel When Colts Run, which chronicles the life of a boy in the Australian outback, and has met the acclaim of the judges.

The Miles Franklin award judges nominated all the novels for the next round of the award based on their ability to capture Australia- the core quality judged in the competition

“The shortlisted books this year are like barometers of the state of our culture: they take the readings, and give them back to us in fiction of extraordinary accomplishment” they said.

“They force us to look again at ourselves, and to think – hard.”

The winner of the award will be announced in Sydney, in June of this year.


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