The Miles Franklin Award 2016: AS Patrić's Black Rock White City

on Friday, August 26, 2016
Huzzah! The curse is lifted.

For years I have damned nominees in all manner of literary prizes to the inglorious abyss. Booker. Nobel. Pulitzer. Boroondara Local Library. In all those and more my "prediction" has turned out to be the kiss of death.

But all that ended tonight. I am no longer the kiss of death. I am not even a good bet. I am a fucking oracle. (Or a fluke, but I prefer words with three syllables.) Yes, AS Patrić just won the Miles Franklin, Australia's most prestigious literary award, for my B4BW Book of 2015, Black Rock White City. Just as I predicted. Before it was even published, no less (I read it in manuscript form when it was still called Life On Crumbs). #humblebrag #notevenslightlyhumble

Now I need not fawn again over how bloody great the novel is. If you want sup on some superlative soup then just check out my original review or my Book of the Year citation. I do, however, want to say that is a massive win for quality Australian literature. Great Australian novels are still being written. And noticed.

So congratulations to Alec and his publisher Transit Lounge for the most deserving Miles Franklin of recent times. Rare is the writer who combines such commitment to the craft of writing, generosity of spirit and goodness of heart with the knack for telling a ripper story. Thanks for giving us Black Rock White City. And, on a personal note, thanks for giving me the faith to once again make wildly loose predictions with a newfound sense of purpose and certainty. I may not always be right, but I will never again be in doubt.


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