2016 Miles Franklin Prize – The Case for Black Rock White City

black rock

I have never before written a post about book prizes but I have to admit I was thrilled when I saw A.S. Patric’s Black Rock White City long listed for the Miles Franklin prize. Now, while the whole long list looks incredibly enticing this year I have only read one of the other novels on the list to date.

So while I can’t really compare it with other titles on the list I know that Black Rock White City is a strong and original novel worthy of accolades and it sets its own benchmark.

Black Rock White City tells the story of Jovan and Suzana who were refugees from the Bosnian war and are now settled in Melbourne. Jovan works as a cleaner in a hospital and looming over their story is a a Kafka-esque existential graffiti artist whose words Jovan must constantly remove.

I must admit that for the first few pages I did wonder if I would enjoy it but I can assure you it is a crazy and powerful novel. It made my top 2015 reads and as the months have passed it is the 2015 read that has affected me most. Some snippets in the story are so sad I still linger over them when they come to mind.

Could it win the Miles Franklin? Yes, most definitely as it is creative and shows how complex Australian society is today. Hopefully this is the version of Australia that the judges want to promote this year. I also hope the judges leave some time to digest the content so they can fully appreciate it.

You can find my original review here.

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5 thoughts on “2016 Miles Franklin Prize – The Case for Black Rock White City

  1. Couldn’t agree more. I feel really torn about the nominations this year because there are some very strong books there and this is one of them. (I’ve read and reviewed all of them except Hope Farm, I’m waiting on that one from the library). .

    • I’m glad you think Black Rock White City is a strong contender. As I said, I’ve only read two of the books but feel strongly about this one. We will have to wait and see what the judges are looking for this year. I hope to read quite a few off the longlist this year. I always love pouring over certain longlists as they bring to my attention books I may not have heard of otherwise. Unfortunately I haven’t been so impressed with the Stella or Bailey’s selections as I have in previous years but have still found a few to add to my TBR prize.

      • I think prizes go through phases. The Stella list 2016 looked to me as if someone had reminded them that they claimed from the start to treat all genres as equally prize-worthy. Which is ok, as far as I’m concerned, but it means that I as a reader of litfic am not going to be interested in much of the list.

      • I’m the same but I can also extend your thoughts to include YA fiction and books with child narrators as books I usually don’t enjoy. This was half the shortlist this year!

  2. Pingback: April 2016 Reading Round Up | Orange Pekoe Reviews

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