The short list for the Miles Franklin award for 2007 have just been announced. The Miles Franklin award is the most prestigious prize awarded for Australian Fiction.
The finalists are:
Careless by Deborah Robertson
In the midst of her life with her small brother and unpredictable mother, Pearl is a child who strives to get things right. But the events of one summer's day are about to change her life, and nothing may ever be right again. In ways connected but unforeseen, this child's tragedy will also enter the lives of two strangers. Sonia lives in a cooler, greener part of the city, where she is learning to live alone after the death of her famous husband. And at the edge of the city, close to the beaches, in a run-down building, the young sculptor Adam Logan contemplates the celebrity that his artwork has brought to him. Through a seductively woven plot that reflects the interlacing nature of our lives, Careless explores the ties of caring and responsibility, for the living and the dead, that are formed, and broken, in our society.
Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
A portrait of life in the newly established coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, whose members are are the leaders of the Pricklebush people.
Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones
'She wished to study the unremarked beauty of modern things, of telephones, aeroplanes, computer screens and electric lights, of television, cars and underground transportation. There had to be in the world of mechanical efficiency some mystery of transaction, the summoning of remote meanings, an extra dimension - supernatural, sure. There had to be a lost sublimity, of something once strange, now familiar, tame. We must talk, Alice Black, about this world of modern things. This buzzing world.' Alice is entranced by the aesthetics of technology and, in every aeroplane flight, every Xerox machine, every neon sign, sees the poetry of modernity. Mr Sakamoto, a survivor of the atomic bomb, is an expert on Alexander Graham Bell. Like Alice, he is culturally and geographically displaced. The pair forge an unlikely friendship as Mr Sakamoto regales Alice with stories of twentieth-century invention. His own knowledge begins to inform her writing, and these two solitary beings become a mutual support for each other a long way from home. This novel from prize-winning author Gail Jones is distinguished in its honesty and intelligence. From the boundlessness of space walking to the frustrating constrictions of one person's daily existence, DREAMS OF SPEAKING paints with grace and skill the experience of needing to belong despite wanting to be alone.
Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey
From Australia to Manhattan via Tokyo, Peter Carey’s new novel is a strange sort of love story. Once famous artist Butcher Bones is reduced to being a caretaker for his biggest collector and nurse to his erratic brother, Hugh. When the mysterious Marlene turns up, events take a very peculiar turn.