It is with immense pleasure we announce that Extinctions by Josephine Wilson has been longlisted for the 2017 Miles Franklin Award. This is the first time a UWA Publishing book has been longlisted for the prize.
Extinctions was the winning manuscript of our inaugural Dorothy Hewett Award, announced in February 2016 and published in November 2016. The novel follows curmudgeon Frederick Lothian as he grapples with old age, remorse and atonement, and his daughter, Caroline, who must answer complex questions of family and heritage.
Josephine is a Perth-based writer of two novels, Cusp (UWA Publishing 2005) and Extinctions (UWA Publishing 2016), and a number of works for performance. She completed her Masters of Philosophy at Queensland University and PhD at the University of Western Australia. She is currently a sessional teacher of creative writing at Curtin University.
On the longlisting, Josephine Wilson said, ‘Selection for a national award like the Miles Franklin is profoundly important to me. As a Western Australian writer published by a local publisher, it is often hard to be embraced by the national writing culture. I am so very grateful that my book has received this recognition, and am honoured to be included with my peers under the name of Miles Franklin.’
Terri-ann White, Director of UWA Publishing, stated, ‘I couldn’t be more thrilled for Josephine and my colleagues at UWA Publishing. This is a sophisticated and very savvy novel about people in their ordinary lives. It is also as funny as life itself.’
The Miles Franklin is widely recognised as the most prestigious literary award in Australia. Established by Miles Franklin, author of My Brilliant Career, in 1957, the prize is awarded annually to a novel of the highest literary merit that ‘presents Australian life in any of its phrases’.
Western Australians who have won the Miles Franklin Literary Award include Kim Scott (2011), Tim Winton (2009, 2002, 1992, 1984), Elizabeth Jolley (1986), and Randolph Stow (1958).
The shortlist will be announced on Sunday 18 June and the winner in August.
This announcement coincides with the reopening of our Dorothy Hewett Award. The award is open for submissions until Tuesday 1 August. Please see our awards page on our website here for submission guidelines. The Dorothy Hewett Award is made possible by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
‘Josephine Wilson’s paragraphs and sentences have a rounded shape, in contrast to the currently fashionable way of writing, which tends to jagged, broken sentences. Her style encourages readers to savour each image and insight as it is revealed, without feeling that the narrative is constantly rushing forward to the next piece of “action”. Some would call this style old-fashioned; in my view it has a lot going for it.’ Sydney Morning Herald.