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Melissa Lucashenko wins 2019 Miles Franklin award

Melissa Lucashenko wins 2019 Miles Franklin award

Melissa Lucashenko, author of Mulllimbimby, was last night awarded the 2019 Miles Franklin award for her latest novel Too Much Lip (University of Queensland Press). 

The award carries a $60,000 prize, and recognizes Too Much Lip as a work of "the highest literary merit" that focuses on Australian Life. Lucashenko was previously shortlisted in 2014 for her novel Mullimbimby

Speaking to The Guardian, Lucashenko said, "It's a big deal. When they told me, it felt as if I hadn't even been on the shortlist, I was that shocked." Too Much Lip has also been shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. 

The book chronicles Kelly Salter returning to her rural NSW hometown to see her Grandfather before he dies. After not planning on staying long, her country and her family start to pull her back in. Lucashenko says her main aim was "to portray the Australian underclass in rural NSW, and especially the black underclass. I wanted to write about the connections between poor blacks and poor whites in the country, and in the jail class.”

Richard Nevile, chair of the Miles Franklin judging panel, said of Too Much Lip

"Too Much Lip is driven by personal experience, historical injustice, anger and what in Indigenous vernacular could be described as “deadly Blak” humour. Lucashenko weaves a (sometimes) fabulous tale with the very real politics of cultural survival to offer a story of hope and redemption for all Australians."