Geordie Williamson has an overview of the Miles Franklin shortlist in today’s Australian. Here’s his take on the big picture:
The make-up of this year’s half-dozen strong shortlist — filled as it is with debuts and sophomore efforts, left-field inclusions and small-press gems — suggests literature is not just an elegant or angry restatement of this week’s news. It also comes from books that have a message that is private or determinedly mysterious. It comes from books that never reach the end of what they have to say.
As for At the Edge of the Solid World, Williamson describes the novel as “an emotional endurance test” that represents a “tendency of contemporary Australian writing to keep a foot in both camps, setting narratives on native ground that also gesture towards a wider world”.