‘Boy’ long listed for the Miles Franklin


Boy on a Wire by Jon Doust has been long listed for a 2010 Miles Franklin Award.

Doust’s story, based on his experiences in a 1960s boarding school, was listed alongside 12 other books including Jasper Jones by fellow WA author Craig Silvey.

Doust said it felt “odd and strange” to have Boy on a Wire included on the Miles Franklin Award long list.

“At first I laughed, because I thought the long list would be about 50 authors, but when it was made clear to me it was only 12, I had difficulty breathing,” said Doust.

Fremantle Press fiction and creative non-fiction publisher Georgia Richter said she was thrilled by the recognition of Boy on a Wire in Australia’s most prestigious literary award.

“This book was one of the last titles contracted by my predecessor, Ray Coffey, and the first edited by me as the new fiction publisher at Fremantle Press so, as a ‘first’, the book is very special to me,” said Richter.

For Doust, who said he celebrated his inclusion on the long list by purchasing a new pocket knife, there will be no resting on his laurels.

“I think, once it has all sunk in, I will go hammer and anvil at the next book,” he said.

Set up as a charitable trust in 1954 by a bequest of Stella Miles Franklin, the annual award of $42,000 is made to Australian authors for the advancement of Australian literature, to improve the educational style of authors, and to improve their literary efforts and work. The award is administered by Trust Company Limited and is presented to the novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.

Other authors on the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award long list are: Alex Miller for Lovesong, Brian Castro for Bath Fugues, David Foster for Sons of the Rumour, Deborah Foster for The Book of Emmett, Glenda Guest for Siddon Rock, Patrick Allington for Figurehead, Peter Carey for Parrot and Olivier, Peter Temple for Truth, Sonya Hartnett for Butterfly and Thomas Keneally for The People’s Train.

The short list will be announced in April 2010.


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