All That I Am by Anna Funder (Penguin) has won this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award, presented tonight at a ceremony in Brisbane.
All That I Am was selected for the $50,000 prize from a shortlist of five, which also included Blood by Tony Birch (UQP), Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett (Hachette), Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears (A&U) and Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse (Vintage).
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, the Trust Company, as trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, said in May that ‘for the first time this year the five person judging panel were formally authorised by the Trustee to use their discretion to modernise the interpretation of Australian life beyond geographical boundaries to include mindset, language, history and values’.
The Trust Company said in a statement that the 'judges admired this ambitious novel that moves across continents and decades to remind us that experiences of exile and dislocation have long been part of Australian life'.
'Inspired by interviews and memoirs of those who resisted the Third Reich from the beginning, Funder's novel is shaped by the flawed memories and recollections of its two narrators, Ruth and Toller, who survive to bear witness,' said judge Gillian Whitlock. 'In this way the novel is both a testimony to those who led the resistance to Nazism, and a reflection on the limited ways that fiction and history can represent the traumatic past and do justice to its victims.'
Judges’ notes for the shortlisted titles can be found online here. Reviews of each of the shortlisted titles are available here.
The 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award went to Kim Scott for That Deadman Dance (Picador). Scott delivered the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award Oration at Curtin University in Perth in May.