Prize Winning Australian Writing

There is something for nearly everyone this week, with the winners of the 2018 Miles Franklin Award and Ned Kelly Awards announced over the weekend.

Michelle de Krester has collected her second Miles Franklin Award for her novel The Life to Come. She was also short listed for the Stella prize this year.

‘Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.

Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

Profoundly moving as well as wickedly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present. This extraordinary novel by Miles Franklin-winning author Michelle de Kretser will strike to your soul.’ (Allen & Unwin)

Meanwhile, the Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime writing brought us several tantalising winners.

Best First Crime Novel  went to Sarah Bailey for The Dark Lake.

‘A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode. A brooding, suspenseful and explosive debut that will grip you from the first page to the last. A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses.’ (Allen & Unwin)


The winner of the Best Crime Novel award went to Sulari Gentill for Crossing The Lines.

‘When Madeleine d’Leon conjures Ned McGinnity as the hero in her latest crime novel, she makes him a serious writer simply because the irony of a protagonist who’d never lower himself to read the story in which he stars, amuses her. When Ned McGinnity creates Madeleine d’Leon, she is his literary device, a writer of detective fiction who is herself a mystery to be unravelled. As Ned and Madeleine play out their own lives while writing the other’s story, they find themselves crossing the lines that divide the real and the imagined. This is a story about two people trying to hold onto each other beyond reality.’ (Pantera)

The winner of the Best True Crime writing went to Graham Archer for Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney .

‘An investigation into an intriguing murder case and an unprecedented account of how the decisions made by organs of government can be defended and mistakes covered up. Anna-Jane Cheney worked at the epicentre of the conservative Adelaide legal community. She was vivacious, popular and talented, with an impeccable middle-class upbringing.’ (Penguin)

And finally the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Garry Disher. 

Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers’ Association said: ‘Garry Disher has made an outstanding contribution to Australian crime fiction, using his characters to explore and expose Australian culture. His crime fiction is just one aspect of a long, successful and varied literary career which shows no sign of slowing down.’

Garry Disher has published over fifty titles—fiction, children’s books, anthologies, textbooks, the Wyatt thrillers and the Peninsula Crimes series. He has won numerous awards, including the German Crime Prize (twice) and two Ned Kelly Best Crime novel awards, for Chain of Evidence (2007) and Wyatt (2010). Garry lives on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. (ACWA)  His most recent novel is Under The Cold Bright Lights.

And if you are feeling left out, speculative fiction readers will need to wait until next year for the 2018 winners of Aurelius Awards, as they are held at the beginning of the year. You can find the 2017 winners, which were announced in March, here.

All of the above titles are available from Blue Mountains Library, and some are also available in audio format.

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