Melissa Lucashenko wins 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award

Miles Franklin Literary Award Melissa Lucashenko - photo by Belinda RollandAustralia’s most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin, has been awarded to acclaimed Indigenous novelist Melissa Lucashenko for Too Much Lip, published by University of Queensland Press.

In a year when the shortlist showcased a diverse and exciting range of Australian voices, experiences and narrative forms, Too Much Lip lays open the wounds of generational trauma and the restorative power of country, culture and belonging.

Ms Lucashenko, who has also been previously long-listed for the Miles Franklin, said of her win: “It’s kind of terrifying. I only recently realised that I could be doing so much more in my writing and now this goes and happens. I have no idea what to do next, other than keep plugging away at my civilising mission to mainstream Australia.”

Ms Lucashenko will receive $60,000 in prize money. Lucashenko’s work was chosen from a shortlist featuring a mix of emerging and established writers, including past winner Rodney Hall for A Stolen Season; three time nominee Gail Jones for The Death of Noah Glass; and first time nominees Michael Mohammed Ahmad for The Lebs, Gregory Day for A Sand Archive, and Jennifer Mills for Dyschronia.

Too Much Lip is driven by personal experience, historical injustice, anger and what in Indigenous vernacular could be described as ‘deadly Blak’ humour,” said Chair of the judging panel, State Library of NSW’s Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville. “Lucashenko weaves a (sometimes) fabulous tale with the very real politics of cultural survival to offer a story of hope and redemption for all Australians.”

Mr Neville was joined on the judging panel by author and critic Dr Bernadette Brennan, book critic Dr Melinda Harvey, Sydney bookseller Lindy Jones, and The Australian journalist and columnist Murray Waldren.

Recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, was established in 1954 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to celebrate the Australian character and creativity.

The Award supports advancement, improvement and betterment of Australian literature each year by recognising the novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian Life in any of its phases. Perpetual, as Trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, is proud to be part of this literary legacy. Since 1957, the award has provided more than $1.2 million to Australian authors.

For more information about the Miles Franklin Literary Award, visit: for details.

Image: Melissa Lucashenko – photo by Belinda Rolland (courtesy of Miles Franklin Literary Award)