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Miles Franklin Literary Award Winners and Nominees: 1957 – 2012

This award was established in 1954 with a bequest from the author Miles Franklin. She was concerned to see Australian literature flourish and knew first hand the struggles most authors have in Australia.The Miles Franklin Literary Award celebrates Australian character and creativity and nurtures the continuing life of literature about Australia. It is awarded for the novel of the year which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.

To Read more about this award, please visit the Award website.

Books I’ve read are highlighted in Blue; follow the links to my review.


Blood by Tony Birch
All That I Am by Anna Funder
Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse
Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett


The Spirit of Progress by Steven Carroll
Spirit House by Mark Dapin
The Precipice by Virginia Duigan
Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville
Five Bells by Gail Jones
Autumn Laing by Alex Miller
The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman – read my review
Animal People by Charlotte Wood


That Deadman Dance, by Kim Scott – WINNER
Berefit, by Chris Womersley
When Colts Run, by Roger McDonald


The Good Daughter by Honey Brown
Rocks in the Belly, by John Bauer
The Legacy, by Kirsten Tranter
The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta
The Mary Smokes Boys, by Patrick Holland
Times Long Ruin, by Stephen Orr


Truth, by Peter Temple – WINNER
Lovesong, by Alex Miller
The Bath Fugues, by Brian Castro
Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey
The Book of Emmett, by Deborah Forster
Butterfly, by Sonia Harnett


Breath, by Tim Winton – WINNER
Ice, by Louis Nowra
The Pages, by Murray Bail
The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas
Wanting, by Richard Flanagan


The Time We Have Taken, by Steven Carroll – WINNER
The Fern Tattoo, by David Brooks
Love Without Hope, by Rodney Hall
Sorry, by Gail Jones
Landscape of Farewell, by Alex Miller


Carpentaria, by Alexis Wright – WINNER
Careless, by Deborah Robertson
Dreams of Speaking, by Gail Jones
Theft: A Love Story, by Peter Carey


The Ballad of Desmond Kale, by Roger McDonald – WINNER
The Garden Book, by Brian Castro
The Secret River, by Kate Grenville – read my review
Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, by Carrie Tiffany
The Wing of Night, by Brenda Walker


The White Earth, by Andrew McGahan – WINNER
Salt Rain, by Sarah Armstrong
The Gift of Speed, by Steven Carroll
Sixty Lights, by Gail Jones
The Submerged Cathedral, by Charlotte Wood


The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazzard – WINNERread my review
My Life as a Fake, by Peter Carey
Elizabeth Costello, by J.M. Coetzee
Three Dog Night, by Peter Goldsworthy
Slow Water, by Annamarie Jogose
Seven Types of Ambiguity, by Elliot Perlman


Journey to the Stone Country, by Alex Miller – WINNER
The Prosperous Thief, by Andrea Goldsmith
Of a Boy, by Sonya Hartnett
Moral Hazard, by Kate Jennings
An Angel in Australia, by Tom Keneally
Wild Surmise, by Dorothy Porter


Dirt Music, by Tim Winton – WINNER
The Art of the Engine Driver, by Steven Carroll
Gould’s Book of Fish, by Richard Flanagan
Gilgamesh, by Joan London
The Architect, by John Scott


Dark Palace, by Frank Moorhouse – WINNER
True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey
The Company, by Arabella Edge
The Day We Had Hitler Home, by Rodney Hall
English Passengers, by Matthew Kneale
Conditions of Faith, by Alex Miller
Life After George, by Hannie Rayson


Drylands, by Thea Astley – WINNER
Benang, by Kim Scott – WINNER
Too Many Men, by Lily Brett
What a Piece of Work, by Dorothy Porter
Isobel on the Way to the Corner Shop, by Amy Witting


Eucalyptus, by Murray Bail – WINNER
Red Shoes, by Carmel Bird
The Golden Dress, by Marion Halligan
Mr. Darwin’s Shooter, by Roger McDonald
Three Dollars, by Elliot Perlman


Jack Maggs, by Peter Carey – WINNER
Wrack, by James Bradley
The Service of Clouds, by Delia Falconer
The Sound of One Hand Clapping, by Richard Flanagan
One for the Master, by Dorothy Johnston
Lovesong, by Elizabeth Jolley
Nightpictures, by Rod Jones


The Glade Within the Grove, by David Foster – WINNER
The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, by Thea Astley
Night Letters, by Robert Dessaix
The Drowner, by Robert Drewe
Oyster, by Janette Turner Hospital
The Conversations at Curlow Creek, by David Malouf
Before I Wake, by John Scott


Highways to a War, by Christopher Koch – WINNER
The White Garden, by Carmel Bird
The House in the Light, by Beverley Farmer
Bracelet Honeymyrtle, by Judith Fox
The Touchstone, by Paul Horsfall
Camille’s Bread, by Amanda Lohrey
The Sitters, by Alex Miller


The Hand That Digned the Paper, by Helen Demidenko – WINNER
Death of a River Guide, by Richard Flanagan
Dark Places, by Kate Grenville
A Mortality Tale, by Jay Verney


The Grisly Wife, by Rodney Hall – WINNER
Remembering Babylon, by David Malouf
Water Man, by Roger McDonald


The Ancestor Game, by Alex Miller – WINNER
Vanishing Points, by Thea Astley
After China, by Brian Castro
Cosmo Cosmolino, by Helen Garner
The Last Magician, by Janette Turner Hospital
Shearers’ Motel, by Roger McDonald


Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton – WINNER
Double Wolf, by Brian Castro
Our Sunshine, by Robert Drewe
To The Burning City, by Alan Gould
The Second Bridegroom, by Rodney Hall


The Great World, by David Malouf – WINNER
The Country without Music, by Nicholas Hasluck
The Bluebird Cafe, by Carmel Bird
Reaching Tin River, by Thea Astley
Taking Shelter, by Jessica Anderson
Longleg, by Glenda Adams


Oceana Fine, by Tom Flood – WINNER
Company of Images, by Janine Burke
Maestro, by Peter Goldsworthy
Avenue of Eternal Peace, by Nicolas Jose
Smyrna, by Tony Maniaty
I for Isobel, by Amy Witting


Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey – WINNER
Captivity Captive, by Rodney Hall
Out of the Line of Fire, by Mark Henshaw
Building On Sand, by David Parker
Charades, by Janette Turner Hospital




Dancing on Coral, by Glenda Adams – WINNER
Holden’s Performance, by Murray Bail
Truant State, by Nicholas Hasluck
Bloodfather, by David Ireland
Home is the Sailor, by Nancy Phelan

NO SHORT LISTS are available BEFORE 1987

WINNERS beginning in 1986:

1986 – The Well, by Elizabeth Jolley
1985 – The Doubleman, by Christopher Koch
1984 – Shallows, by Tim Winton
1983 – No award
1982 – Just Relations, by Rodney Hall
1981 – Bliss, by Peter Carey
1980 – The Impersonators, by Jessica Anderson
1979 – A Woman of the Future, by David Ireland
1978 – Tirra Lirra by the River, by Jessica Anderson
1977 – Swords and Crowns and Rings, by Ruth Park
1976 – The Glass Canoe, by David Ireland
1975 – Poor Fellow My Country, by Xavier Herbert
1974 – The Mango Tree, by Ronald McKie
1973 – No award
1972 – The Acolyte, by Thea Astley
1971 – The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, by David Ireland
1970 – A Horse of Air, by by Dal Stivens
1969 – Clean Straw for Nothing, by George Johnston
1968 – Three Cheers for the Paraclete, by Thomas Keneally
1967 – Bring Larks and Heroes, by Thomas Keneally
1966 – Trap, by Peter Mathers
1965 – The Slow Natives, by Thea Astley
1964 – My Brother Jack, by George Johnston
1963 – Careful He Might Hear You, by Sumner Locke Elliott
1962 – The Well Dressed Explorer, by Thea Astley AND The Cupboard Under the Stairs, by George Turner
1961 – Riders in the Chariot, by Patrick White
1960 – The Irishman, by Elizabeth O’Conner
1959 – The Big Fellow, by Vance Palmer
1958 – To the Islands, by Randolph Stow
1957 – Voss, by Patrick White

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