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The 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award

The 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award

The longlist for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award has been announced and we are absolutely delighted to reveal that two Allen & Unwin authors have been recognised:

Sofie Laguna for The Eye of the Sheep

Christine Piper for After Darkness

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is regarded as Australia's most prestigious literature prize and was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. First awarded in 1957, the prize is awarded each year to the novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases. The final shortlist will be announced in May with the overall winner to be revealed on 23 June.

See the full longlist

Find out more about the Miles Franklin Award


Spotlight:

Preventing Cancer

by Richard Beliveau and Denis Gingras

A fully illustrated, practical and easy to use guide to the ways we can prevent and treat cancer.

Spotlight:

Goodbye Sweetheart

by Marion Halligan

From the author of Valley of Grace comes a powerful novel of love, the desire for understanding, and the inevitable messiness of life.

Spotlight:

Prince of Afghanistan

by Louis Nowra

After a rescue mission goes wrong, a young soldier and his dog find themselves alone in hostile territory. Will they survive the perilous journey back to base?

Out now
Coming soon
Spotlight:

Natural Born Heroes

by Christopher McDougall

When Chris McDougall stumbled across the story of Churchill's 'dirty tricksters', a motley crew of English poets and academics who helped resist the Nazi invasion of Crete, he knew he was on the track of something special.

To beat the odds, the tricksters - starving, aging, outnumbered -tapped into an ancient style of fitness: the lost art of heroism. They listened to their instincts, replaced calories with stored bodily fat and used their fascia, the network of tissue which criss-crosses the body, to catapult themselves to superhuman strength and endurance.

Soon McDougall was in the middle of a modern fitness revolution taking place everywhere from Parisian parkour routes to state-of-the-art laboratories, and based on the know-how of Shanghai street-fighters and Wild West gunslingers. Just as Born to Run got runners off the treadmill and into nature, Natural Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to dump the gym membership for cross-training, mud runs and free-running.

Spotlight:

The Family Project

by Harriet Green and John-Paul Flintoff

Every family has a story to tell. This is yours.

Think of your favourite family holidays, recipes, jokes and often repeated tales. Wouldn't it be great to record them before they're lost to history?

Harriet Green and John-Paul Flintoff are journalists who have spent years drawing the best out of their interviewees. Here they prompt you to do the same with your nearest and dearest - whether it be re-enacting an old family photo or crafting a letter to someone you miss, remembering much-loved family pets or quizzing your parents about their earliest memories. You'll become a doodler, detective, cartographer, historian, anthropologist, peacemaker and author. And most importantly of all, you'll be talking things over with the people that matter to you most, from grandparents to children.

The more you put in, the more valuable this book will become; a moving, unique record of the people who came before you and something to pass on to future generations.

Spotlight:

The Girl in the Red Coat

by Kate Hamer

Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different - sensitive, distracted, with a heartstopping tendency to go missing. Her mother Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter's strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own.

When she takes Carmel for an outing to a local festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears into the crowd. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own. But do the real clues to Carmel's disappearance lie in the otherworldly qualities her mother had only begun to guess at?

Spotlight:

The Death's Head Chess Club

by John Donoghue

A novel of the improbable friendship that arises between a Nazi officer and a Jewish chessplayer in Auschwitz.

SS Obersturmfuhrer Paul Meissner arrives in Auschwitz from the Russian front wounded and fit only for administrative duty. His most pressing task is to improve camp morale and he establishes a chess club, and allows officers and enlisted men to gamble on the games. Soon Meissner learns that chess is also played among the prisoners, and there are rumors of an unbeatable Jew known as "the Watchmaker." Meissner's superiors begin to demand that he demonstrate German superiority by pitting this undefeated Jew against the best Nazi players. Meissner finds Emil Clement, the Watchmaker, and a curious relationship arises between them. As more and more games are played, the stakes rise, and the two men find their fates deeply entwined.

Twenty years later, the two meet again in Amsterdam-Meissner has become a bishop, and Emil is playing in an international chess tournament. Having lost his family in the horrors of the death camps, Emil wants nothing to do with the ex-Nazi officer despite their history, but Meissner is persistent. "What I hope," he tells Emil, "is that I can help you to understand that the power of forgiveness will bring healing." As both men search for a modicum of peace, they recall a gripping tale of survival and trust.

A suspenseful meditation on understanding and guilt, The Death's Head Chess Club is a bold debut and a rich portrait of a surprising friendship.

Spotlight:

Resonance

by Celine Kiernan

What does it mean to be alive? What is it worth to stay alive?

Ireland, 1890: two ruthless immortals prowl the theatre district in search of food for their 'Angel'. Ancient, pitiless and caring for none but their own twisted family, they will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on life.

A seamstress, the young man who loves her and a penniless American magician soon find themselves imprisoned in a snow-bound country estate, the latest additions to the family's warped collection. Here, they are nothing but food, nothing but entertainment, and soon they will be nothing at all.

Far from their homes and fighting for survival, Tina, Joe and Harry will come to understand that far more is at stake than their lives.

A rich and provocative feat of the imagination from the creator of the Moorehawke Trilogy.

Spotlight:

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

by Gabrielle Williams

A rock chick.

An artist with attitude.

A girl with a past.

A party animal.

Four lives collide when one of the world's most famous paintings is stolen. It's a mystery that has the nation talking, but while Picasso's Weeping Woman might be absent from the walls of the National Gallery, in other parts of Melbourne the controversial painting's presence is being felt by Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny for four very different reasons.

Life, love, art and one giant party intersect in this offbeat comedy about good intentions, unexpected consequences and the irresistible force of true love.

Spotlight:

Animal Magic

by Carolyn Press-McKenzie

Heart-warming and funny, Animal Magic tells the moving and inspirational story of one woman's work with animals. Carolyn?s organisation HUHA (Helping You Help Animals) is a thriving network that rehabilitates and rehomes domestic and farm animals and wildlife all over the country. It is New Zealand's leading no-kill shelter.

Carolyn's years of working with animals have given her many great stories to tell. From her first eclectic menagerie of a pig, chooks, cats, a movie-star dog, nine actor rats and Felix the magpie to Laurie, Charlie and Rachel the sad monkeys that were rescued from a circus, Carolyn?s passion is to find positive outcomes for every animal and bird.

Her special ability to connect meaningfully with every animal she deals with and her understanding of what makes each one tick, along with her warmth and friendship towards them, is nothing short of extraordinary.

With its gentle sense of humour and perfectly pitched comic timing, Animal Magic is a charming tale of one woman's drive to follow her passion. This book will change the way you think about animals forever.

Spotlight:

From India with Love

by Latika Bourke

Latika Bourke was adopted from India, aged eight months. Growing up in Bathurst, New South Wales she felt a deep connection to her Australian home and her Australian family.

It wasn't until she heard her name uttered in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire that Latika recognised she knew nothing of her Indian roots, the world she was born into and what she could have become had she not been brought to Australia as a baby.

As Latika carved out a successful career for herself as an award-winning political journalist, she became more and more curious about her heritage and what it meant to be born in India and raised in Australia. And so began a deeply personal and sometimes confronting journey back to her birthplace to unravel the mysteries of her heritage.

From India with Love is a beautiful story of finding your place in the world and finding peace with the path that led you there.

Spotlight:

At the Water's Edge

by Sara Gruen

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son's inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend Hank decide that the only way to regain the Colonel's favour is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed - by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster - Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.

The trio find themselves amid the devastation of World War II, in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. As the men go out looking for the monster, Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Gradually the friendships she forms open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but to the beauty and surprising possibilities of life.

'If I needed a reminder why I am such a fan of Sara Gruen's books, her latest novel provides plenty. Unique in its setting and scope, this impeccably researched historical fiction is full of the gorgeous prose I've come to expect from this author. And even after the final page, its message still resonates with me: The monsters we seek may be right in front of us. In fact, the only fault I can find with this book is that I've already finished it.' - Jodi Picoult, New York Timesbestselling author of Leaving Time

'I devoured this book. Once again Sara Gruen has proven herself to be one of America's most compelling storytellers. You might be tempted to rush to get to the answers at the end -but don't, or you'll miss the delectable journey that is Gruen's prose.' - Kathryn Stockett, New York Times bestselling author of The Help

Spotlight:

The Wonder Lover

by Malcolm Knox

What's the worst thing that can happen to a man with three secret families? He falls in love. 'Some books read as if they are touched by magic, so wondrous and astonishing is the experience of immersing yourself in them. That's how I feel about The Wonder Lover. It is written with confidence and daring, with a joyous freedom and a love for story and language that is only possible when an artist has truly mastered their craft. It is a compulsive and thrilling read, a dazzling achievement. There is a word that should be used very rarely but I believe is absolutely right for this book: The Wonder Lover is superb.' CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS, author of The Slap

This is the story of John Wonder, a man with three families, each one kept secret from the other, each one containing two children, a boy and a girl. As he travels from family to family in different cities, he works as an Authenticator, verifying world records, confirming facts, setting things straight, while his own life is a teetering tower of breathtaking lies and betrayals.

The Wonder Lover is a stunning novel that again and magnificently confirms Malcolm Knox as one of our brightest stars, an imaginative tour de force that ranks alongside the best work of Nabokov, Amis, Ireland and Carey. The Guardian famously wrote of Malcolm, 'If Winton is an aria, Knox is early Rolling Stones', but this time around he's got the orchestra along as well and every single note rings deep and rich and true. This bedtime story told by children to adults is jaw-droppingly original, breathtakingly audacious and fearlessly accomplished.

Spotlight:

Stay With Me

by Maureen McCarthy

Try to leave and I'll find you.

Tess is trapped in a desperate situation - her violent partner now threatening not just Tess, but their daughter as well.

A chance meeting offers a way out, and a road trip back to the heart of Tess's past, and the family she's left behind. But can she ever trust again?

An electrifying story from the bestselling author of The Convent.

Spotlight:

Pandora Jones: Reckoning

by Barry Jonsberg

Pan blinked. Something strange was happening to her mind and body. She felt relaxed, but at the same time, acutely aware of everything. She remembered the Professor's words: she was the cause of the destruction of humanity. And she felt the truth of those words.

Pandora Jones's problems appear insurmountable. She must convince her team that nothing is as it seems and that they must escape and expose The School to save the world from the plague she unwittingly inflicted on it. The only things Pan has on her side are her gift of intuition, and her belief in the people she cares about.

But with the clock ticking, can she find a way to stop the plague, and should she do it at any cost?

Pan and her friends face off against the might of The School as the final pieces fall into place in the hugely compelling Pandora Jones series.

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