Former Miles Franklin winners Tim Winton and Alexis Wright and previously shortlisted novelist Richard Flanagan are among 11 authors long-listed for the 2014 literary prize.
Announcing the list today, judging panel spokesman Richard Neville said it reflected “the great strength, variety and richness of current Australian fiction”.
The judges said the list included “exciting new talent”, with two debut novelists vying for the $60,000 prize: Fiona McFarlane (The Night Guest) and Tracy Farr (The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt).
Other long-listed authors are Winton (Eyrie), Wright (The Swan Book), Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), Ashley Hay (The Railwayman’s Wife), Melissa Lucashenko (Mullumbimby), Nicolas Rothwell (Belamor), Trevor Shearston (Game), Cory Taylor (My Beautiful Enemy) and Evie Wyld (All the Birds, Singing).
Wright won the Miles Franklin in 2007 with Carpentaria, while Winton has won if four times (Breath, Dirt Music, Cloudstreet and Shallows); Flanagan has been both long-listed and shortlisted multiple times.
Neville said 53 submissions had been received for this year’s award and whittling them down was both “rewarding and challenging”.
Among the notable omissions are Christos Tsiolkas’s Barracuda and novels by two Adelaide authors, JM Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus and Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites – although, as The Australian noted earlier this week, it is likely the latter two would not have met the criteria that novels must “present Australian life in any of its phases”.
Kent’s Burial Rites has been short-listed for the Stella Prize, which was set up in 2013 to celebrate women’s writing after controversy over the male-only shortlist for the Miles Franklin in 2009 and 2011. The Stella shortlist, announced last month, also includes Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest, Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book, Anna Krien’s Night Games, Kristina Olsson’s Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir and Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, with the winner to be announced on April 29.
The Miles Franklin shortlist will be announced on May 15.
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