Thursday, April 27, 2006

Miles Franklin shortlist ...

... announced today. This was my exact prediction, but like a fool I didn't put any money on it.

Brian Castro, The Garden Book
Kate Grenville, The Secret River
Roger McDonald, The Ballad of Desmond Kale
Carrie Tiffany, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living
Brenda Walker, The Wing of Night


ThirdCat said...

Are there literature bookies?

Pavlov's Cat said...

I'm sure I could have found one, 3C. Legal or otherwise.

Don't people bet on the Booker in England?

Lucy Tartan said...

So who do you tip for the win?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Kate Grenville's got to be the favourite but I think she will fall down on the race question with at least one of the judges; my understanding is that in current academic circles this book is regarded as not being sufficiently anti-white-settler.

I get into trouble for having complex views about this sort of thing. I'm all for race/gender/sexuality screening in lit crit, God knows, but I got badly fed up around the early 90s when it was reduced to that and nothing else, and I got constantly accused of being a formalist every time I wanted to talk about, you know, narrative, character, that sort of minor thing.

If I were doing the complicated betting thing I'd go either Grenville, Castro, McDonald at 1, 2 and 3, or back Tiffany to win and make a lot of money.

Kate said...

I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read any of them. *blushes* I really haven't been reading much lately, which I blame on the fact that I no longer catch public transport.

Anyway, I've actually recently purchased a small blue notebook, the point of which is to write the names of books I should chase up, and I guess the Miles Franklin shortlist is a good place to start. (Also to be used for CDs and artists names too, I think.)

ThirdCat said...

Carrie Tiffany, I reckon. And how excited must she be about being on this shortlist?

I haven't read them all, but I don't let lack of knowledge stand between me and an opinion.

Also - and I don't want you to think that I don't have anything better to do with my time or that my children are doing nothing but watching television while I blog - I have looked at a certain online betting site. No literature bets. Perhaps closer to the time, because you do always hear about betting on the Booker.

genevieve said...

ThirdCat, there is nothing wrong with kids evaluating media while you blog. My daughter actually listened to George Megalogenis on Lateline the other night and Understood Him. I was gobsmacked. Nothing wrong with visual culture at all as long as your parents are articulate and occasionally discuss it with you, or so it seems.
I want all the writers to win - and I want libraries to buy multiples of all their books.

genevieve said...

And BTW, PC, you don't think Castro could fall down on race or gender either? He seems to have given that young Chinese woman in his book a bit of a hard time, shades of Tess Durbeyfield there if you know what I mean.

Pavlov's Cat said...

The thinking at its most simplistic is that writers who are themselves racially Other (other than anglo-Celt, that is to say), as Castro is, have some licence to be both -- racist because it's, you know, them, and sexist because it's, you know, cultural.

I think this kind of thinking was behind some of the outrage when it turned out that Helen Demidenko Darville Dale wasn't who she said she was.

These are hugely complex issues and I should stress again that I am all for gender/race/class/sexuality/etc awareness in reading. And writing.

But it makes me sad, cross and bored when I see it being applied with lots of zeal and no intelligence, esepcially by people who should know bettter. Apart from anything else it makes them and, by default, me a sitting duck for the worst kind of racist bullshit being peddled by RWDB's about the treatment of women by TEH MUSLIMS. (Like they've ever cared before ...)

genevieve said...

Well put. I really liked this book, by the way, and I think these issues will be rendered to me with the complexity they deserve upon repeated readings. It's just a first reading when all is said and done.

ThirdCat said...

Have just bought The Ballad of Desmond Kale so I can make a fully informed opinion. It was niggling away at me all weekend that I would make such declarations without full information. There is, of course, a different thing with tipping and so forth which is gut and instinct and so on, but still full information never goes astray.