Miles Franklin nominations

March 28, 2012 by  
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Two Australian Jewish authors have been nominated for this year’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award.

MARK DAPIN has been nominated for his novel “Spirit House”.

Mark Dapin Pic: Ingrid Shakenovsky

Dapin moved to Australia in the late 1980s. He has been editor in chief of ACP’s men’s magazines, and a hugely popular columnist for Fairfax’s Good Weekend. He has degrees in Social Policy, Art History and Journalism.
His previous novel, King of the Cross won the Ned Kelly award for best first crime novel. He lives in Sydney with his partner and two children.

The Spirit House story:
David is thirteen and confused. His mum has gone off with her lover and sent David to his grandparents in Bondi to give her new relationship some “space”.
David’s grandfather, Jimmy, a Jewish war veteran and survivor of the Thai-Burma railway, is seventy. Haunted by the ghosts of long-dead comrades, the only person he can confide in is a thirteen-year-old from a different world. Sometimes it breaks your heart to be understood. Spirit House is a story of Changi and the Thai-Burma railway, of old men living with their past, and a boy making sense of growing up. Funny, wise, disturbing and deeply moving,Spirit House is the brilliant new novel by the award-winning author of King of the Cross.

Dapin, whose column in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend has just been dropped by Fairfax after eight years, told J-Wire: “I feel vindicated. I could not successfully negotiate a new contract with Fairfax but now a third book will be easier to sell. There are plans underway to produce a movie of “Spirit House”. In the meantime, I will keep busy freelancing.

ELLIOT PERLMAN: Nominated for “The street sweeper”

Elliot Perlman

Elliot Perlman’s Three Dollars won the Age Book of the Year Award, the Betty Trask Award (UK), the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn-Rhys/Mail On Sunday Book of the Year Award (UK) as well as for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film of Three Dollars, which received the Australian Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the A.F.I. Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. His book of stories, The Reasons I Won’t Be Coming, was a national bestseller in the US where it was named a New York Times Book Review ‘Editors’ Choice’ and received the Steele Rudd Award for the best Australian short story collection in its year of publication. His second novel, Seven Types of Ambiguity, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award as well as for the Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction. He lives in Melbourne.

How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away. From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing each other every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some survive to become history. Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can’t locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few kilometres uptown, Australian historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging out of the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally and perhaps even personally. As these two men try to survive in early twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths – Lamont’s and Adam’s – lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago to Auschwitz. Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling.

Elliot Perlman told J-Wire: “It’s a great honour to be long listed, Three Dollars and Seven Types of Ambiguity were shortlisted but we’ll just have to wait and see….it’s a frighteningly strong year.”

Elliot Perlman will be in conversation with Vic Alhadeff at  Moriah College on Wednesday April 18 and Thursday April 19 at Masada College. Both events commence at 730pm
Inquiries: 9360 1600

There are thirteen nominees for the coveted prize. The winner, to be announced in June, will receive $50,000. A shortlist is to be announced in May.


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