Australia’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, Too Much Lip lays open the wounds of generational trauma and the restorative power of country, culture and belonging.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award recognises the novel of “the highest literary merit” which presents “Australian life in any of its phases”. It was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author Miles Franklin for the “advancement, improvement and betterment of Australian literature”. Since 1957, the award has provided more than $1.2 million to Australian authors.
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:
- Rodney Hall for A Stolen Season
- Gail Jones for The Death of Noah Glass
- Michael Mohammed Ahmad for The Lebs
- Gregory Day for A Sand Archive
- Jennifer Mills for Dyschronia.
Ms Lucashenko, who has also been previously longlisted 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.”
Chair of the judging panel, State Library of NSW’s Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville said, “Too Much Lip is driven by personal experience, historical injustice, anger and what in Indigenous vernacular could be described as ‘deadly Blak’ humour. 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.”