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The Miles Franklin Award has been Australia's most prestigious literary prize since its conception in 1957. Five writers - all first timers on the Miles Franklin shortlist - are up for the 2017 $60,000 prize, which will be announced on September 7. Find out below how the egg of the extinct Auk, the hut of a hermit and an episode of True Detective inspired these critically acclaimed Aussie novels  - including one book that might be the most ironic inclusion on the Miles Franklin shortlist to date.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. Read on >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has inspired all kinds of fan fiction and adaptations, such as the 1966 prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. But in this new novel by Sydney resident JENNIFER LIVETT, the lives of Jane Eyre characters become entwined with those of real 19th-century Tasmanians, including doomed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Here Jennifer tells us how she came up with the idea for Wild Island. Read on >
  • JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her life. Read on >
  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author Amy Stewart stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • Teachers of writing classes often tell their students ‘show, don’t tell’. But showing – which means providing vivid description so that readers can clearly imagine what is being represented – depends to a large extent on memory and an alertness to the present moment. Writer and memoir instructor PATTI MILLER, author of Ransacking Paris, shows here how you can draw on sensory memory to enhance your writing. Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Shock, tension and humour characterise this novel, whose narrative is built on revealed emotions and stories told by characters that enter and exit but who leave behind issues, acts and decisions that will leave the reader changed on account of their profundity. Read on >

  • Celeste Ng weaves the themes of family and morality into a poignant and entertaining story.  Read on >

  • The interest of book lovers will be piqued by Carroll’s numerous literary references, though their limited purpose may disappoint.  Read on >

  • This story is filled with politics and suspense, and the writing is accessible and vivid.  Read on >

  • My eyes were full of tears when I finished The Choke. There is great emotional depth to Sofie Laguna’s writing, and her characters are alive in their vulnerability and beauty. Sofie Laguna is one of the most gifted writers in Australia right now. Don’t miss this. Read on >

  • Having experienced the ups and downs of the Australian agricultural industry first-hand, Michael Trant must have found it easy to write about rural life in his debut novel, Ridgeview Station. Read on >

  • Birch has published several novels and short stories, and this collection of short and punchy stories showcase his skill to great effect. Read on >

  • A thread of mystery weaves its way through the story, presenting plenty of surprises to keep the pages turning. Read on >

  • This book raises many timely questions, on the smaller scale of individual lives and also on the global scale of potential environmental catastrophe. Read on >

  • Danielle Steel’s latest novel, The Duchess, begins like so many others of its kind: a young woman, innocent to the ways of the world, is forced out of the family estate by her older brother, who inherits her father’s fortune. Read on >

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