2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award announced

All the Birds, SingingEvie Wyld has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel, All the Birds, Singing.

Ms Wyld’s novel has been judged as being ‘of the highest literary merit’ and presents ‘Australian Life in any of its phases’ in accordance with Miles Franklin’s guidelines for the Award, and will receive $60,000 in prize money.

The Award was established by My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to support Australian literature and over the past 58 years has maintained her literary legacy.

Perpetual’s General Manager of Philanthropy, Andrew Thomas, said the Miles Franklin Literary Award is a fantastic example of philanthropy for the arts in Australia.

“As an author Miles Franklin has made an impact on all of her readers and as a philanthropist she continues to make her mark on the literary community,” Mr Thomas said. “In 2014 this Award continues to make a difference to talented writers such as Evie Wyld.”

“We’re delighted to have the honour of being the Trustee of this Award, growing Miles Franklin’s initial investment of $17,844 in decimal currency to its current position of more than $1.3 million. This growth has allowed us to continue to deliver the current prize money and ensure we keep Miles Franklin’s legacy alive.”

Ms Wyld’s novel was selected from a stellar shortlist of novels, including: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; The Swan Book by Alexis Wright; Eyrie by Tim Winton; The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane; and My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor.

Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of New South Wales Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, described Ms Wyld’s writing as “spare, yet pitch perfect”, with her novel being both “visceral and powerfully measured in tone”.

All the Birds, Singing draws the reader into its rhythm and mystery, through wonderfully and beautifully crafted prose, whose deceptive sparseness combines powerfully with an ingenious structure to create a compelling narrative of alienation, decline and finally, perhaps, some form of redemption,” Mr Neville said.

“Flight from violence and abuse run through the core of the novel, yet never defeat its central character. All the Birds, Singing, an unusual but compelling novel, explores its themes with an unnervingly consistent clarity and confidence.”

Mr Neville was joined on the judging panel by The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren, Sydney-based bookseller, Anna Low, biographer, book historian, publishing editor, and Queensland Writers Centre founding chair, Craig Munro, and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.

For more information, visit: www.milesfranklin.com.au for details.

Image: All the Birds, Singing