Miles Franklin Award

4 Posts Back Home

Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep is a painful picture of not fitting in

I admit I approached Sofie Laguna’s The Eye of the Sheep with some sofietrepidation. The synopsis indicated some dangerous potential pitfalls. The book, which is shortlisted for the Stella Prize and is on the long list for the Miles Franklin Award, is told from the viewpoint of Jimmy, a young boy with learning and communication problems. He exists in a world that is a mystery to most of the adults with whom he comes into contact, either through lack of understanding, time (like the harassed teachers) or resolve to engage effectively with him.

Laguna danced perilously close to the edge of stereotyping in creating Jimmy’s family – drunken, violent father, loving abused mother, and protective then guiltily absent older brother. It is testimony to her skill with character that she instead creates a wholly

Longlist for Miles Franklin Award announced

Congratulations to friend and colleague Nicolas Rothwell whose novel ­Belomor has been long listed for the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia’s most prestigious literary prize. The list, announced this week, includes some of the country’s most respected authors such as Tim Winton, up for a record fifth Miles Franklin for Eyrie, Alexis Wright, who won in…

Alex Miller’s Coal Creek was one of my favourite books of 2013; I think it will be even better on re-reading

resized_9781743316986_224_297_FitSquareIn Coal Creek, Alex Miller’s latest book, he takes the reader back to the ruggedly sparse Stone country of Central Queensland’s, Australia, where he had himself worked as a stockman. This is the setting for his earlier books Landscape of Farewell and Journey to the Stone Country and it’s an area he knows well and in the harshness of which he is comfortable.

Bobby Blue is the son of a stockman and has spent all his life in the small town of Mount Hay “the end of the line then, and still, as far as I know that country”. This is his environment and he seeks no other. He is the cipher through which the reader views the land, and the ensuing events. After the death of his father, a gentle, knowing, man of that land, he goes to work for the new local constable Daniel Collins. Collins had been a volunteer with the Australian forces in New Guinea and then joined the Queensland Police Service. And he arrives with his wife, Esme, and his two daughters.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: