The 2022 Miles Franklin Shortlist has been announced. Below are the books and a synopsis from Goodreads.
"I only ever asked you for one thing," my father said, a quiver in his voice. "Just this one thing." It was as though I had smashed the Ten Commandments.
"Oh father," I cried, grovelling at his ankles while my mother and siblings looked on. "The one thing you asked of me—is everything."
Bani Adam has known all his life what was expected of him. To marry the right kind of girl. To make the House of Adam proud.
But Bani wanted more than this—he wanted to make his own choices. Being the first in his Australian Muslim family to go to university, he could see a different way.
Years later, Bani will write his story to his son, Kahlil. Telling him of the choices that were made on Bani's behalf and those that he made for himself. Of the hurt he caused and the heartache he carries. Of the mistakes he made and the lessons he learned.
In this moving and timely novel, Michael Mohammed Ahmad balances the complexities of modern love with the demands of family, tradition and faith. The Other Half of You is the powerful, insightful and unforgettable new novel from the Miles Franklin shortlisted author of The Lebs.
I have read The Lebs and enjoyed it very much.
A profoundly original exploration of racism, misogyny, and ageism—three monsters that plague the world—this novel from a beloved and prize-winning author is made up of two narratives, each told by a South Asian migrant to Australia.
"When my family emigrated it felt as if we'd been stood on our heads."
Michelle de Kretser's electrifying take on scary monsters turns the novel upside down—just as migration has upended her characters' lives.
Lili's family migrated to Australia from Asia when she was a teenager. Now, in the 1980s, she's teaching in the south of France. She makes friends, observes the treatment handed out to North African immigrants and is creeped out by her downstairs neighbour. All the while, Lili is striving to be A Bold, Intelligent Woman like Simone de Beauvoir.
Lyle works for a sinister government department in near-future Australia. An Asian migrant, he fears repatriation and embraces 'Australian values'. He's also preoccupied by his ambitious wife, his wayward children and his strong-minded elderly mother. Islam has been banned in the country, the air is smoky from a Permanent Fire Zone, and one pandemic has already run its course.
Three scary monsters—racism, misogyny and ageism—roam through this mesmerising novel. Its reversible format enacts the disorientation that migrants experience when changing countries changes the story of their lives. With this suspenseful, funny and profound book, Michelle de Kretser has made something thrilling and new.
"Which comes first, the future or the past?"
This one interests me as well.
So by the grace of a photograph that had inexplicably gone viral, Tony had found me. Or: he’d found Maggie.
I had no way of knowing whether he was nuts or not; whether he might go to the cops. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but I don’t think it’s so ridiculous. People have gone to prison for much lesser things than accusations of child-killing.
A quiet, small-town existence. An unexpected Facebook message, jolting her back to the past. A history she’s reluctant to revisit: dark memories and unspoken trauma, bruised thighs and warning knocks on bedroom walls, unfathomable loss.
She became a new person a long time ago. What happens when buried stories are dragged into the light?
This epic novel from the two-time Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year is a masterwork of tragedy and heartbreak—the story of a life in full. Sublimely wrought in devastating detail, Bodies of Light confirms Jennifer Down as one of the writers defining her generation.
One day, a boy in a nice silver car gives sixteen-year-old Karuna a ride. So Karuna returns the favour.
Eventually, Karuna can’t ignore the reality: she is pregnant. Incensed, her mother, already over-protective, confines her to their fourteenth-storey housing-commission flat for one hundred days, to protect her from the outside world – and make sure she can’t get into any more trouble. Stuck inside for endless hours, Karuna battles her mother and herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms and grows within her.
One Hundred Days is a fractured fairytale exploring the fault lines between love and control. At times tense and claustrophobic, it also brims with humour, warmth and character. It is a magnificent new work from one of Australia’s most celebrated writers.
Pain was Joe Grim's self-expression, his livelihood and reason for being. In 1908-09 the Italian-American boxer toured Australia, losing fights but amazing crowds with his showmanship and extraordinary physical resilience. On the east coast Grim played a supporting role in the Jack Johnson-Tommy Burns Fight of the Century; on the west coast he was committed to an insane asylum. In between he played with the concept and reality of pain in a shocking manner not witnessed before or since. Award-winning writer Michael Winkler braids the story of Grim in Australia and meditations on pain with thoughts on masculinity and vulnerability, plus questionable jokes, in a haymaker of highly creative non-fiction.
So that is the shortlist for 2022. I can't say that I have a favourite yet simply because I have not read any of the books, in fact I have only read two of the authors before, but I must say that they all sound interesting and I will try hard to get to read each of them time permitting.