Josephine Wilson was awarded the prestigious Miles Franklin literary prize for her novel ‘Extinctions’ last night, making her only the 5th person from Western Australia ever to win.
Her novel which explores the human condition through a reflection on life and loss, was described by the judging panel as “compassionate and unapologetically intelligent.”
— MilesFranklin (@_milesfranklin) September 7, 2017
Wilson was humble in her acceptance.
“As a Western Australian writer, published by a local publisher, it is often hard to be embraced by the national writing culture. I am honoured to be included with my peers under the name of Miles Franklin.”
“I think we all struggle to have a national profile and without public support and recognition through things like the Miles Franklin we just can’t have that,” she said.
Now in its 60th year, the awards were born through the will of acclaimed author Miles Franklin and her commitment to the advancement of Australian literature.
Each year, the prize is awarded to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.”
The five writers in contention for the prize this year were: Emily Maguire (An Isolated Incident), Mark O’Flynn (The Last Days of Ava Langdon), Ryan O’Neill (Their Brilliant Careers), Philip Salom (Waiting) and Josephine Wilson (Extinctions). The list exhibiting a new era in Australian literature, given none of the recognised writers had ever been shortlisted before.