The Miles Franklin Award: And the winner is….

By Mad Dog
Published: Jun 24, 2010

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is the most prestigious literary prize in Australia. Funded by the author of "My Brilliant Career," it’s awarded to "the novel of the year which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases." This year’s winner: Peter Temple, for "Truth." To quote the judges: "’Truth’ disorients the reader with multiple plots and elliptical exchanges: blank spaces occupy almost as much room on the page as the print. In this way Temple takes a popular genre and transforms it into a radical literary experiment in realism and fiction. There is minimal exposition of plot and character; rather the narrative is embedded in voice and dialogue rich with colloquialisms and police lingo, heard in grabs from radio, in cars, on mobile phones, and in conversations across always crowded rooms. We learn to trust the accumulation of fragments and scenes. Few contemporary fiction writers grasp the speech and silences of the Australian vernacular as effectively as Temple." But then you knew most of this from my review. To read my take on "Truth" — and to buy the book — click here