Miles Franklin Literary Award 2023

August 2023

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize awarded to a novel focusing on Australian life. The award was set up according to the will of Stella Maria Miles Franklin, author of the Australian classic My Brilliant Career. Congratulations to this year's winner- Shankari Chandran- for her work Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens!

Below you can read a summary for each book that made the Miles Franklin Award 2023 Shortlist. We have also provided links to find each book in the catalogue. While many of these authors go through some heightened demand, you can place a hold to ensure you get a copy of their book/s as soon as possible.

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2023 Shortlist

Click the links below to request a copy of a particular book or click on the author names to connect with our catalogue and explore all their books.

Literary lives

Hopeless Kingdom by Kgshak Akec  

Kgshak Akec

Hopeless kingdom

Akita's family have always kept moving to survive. Sudan to Cairo. Cairo to Sydney. Sydney to Geelong. At each new place, challenges test and break Akita, her four siblings and her parents. Just when eight-year-old Akita is feeling settled at her new school and community in Sydney for the first time in her life, her parents decide to relocate to Geelong to be closer to their Sudanese relatives. The move is the beginning of a downward spiral that threatens to unravel the fabric of their family and any hope for finding peace and belonging.

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Limberlost by Robbie Arnott  

Robbie Arnott


In the heat of a long summer Ned hunts rabbits in a river valley, hoping the pelts will earn him enough money to buy a small boat. His two brothers are away at war, their whereabouts unknown. His father and older sister struggle to hold things together on the family orchard, Limberlost.

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Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au  

Jessica Au

Cold enough for snow

A novel about the relationship between life and art, and between language and the inner world -- how difficult it is to speak truly, to know and be known by another, and how much power and friction lies in the unsaid, especially between a mother and daughter. This is an elegant and subtle exploration of the mysteries of our relationships to others.

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Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens by Shankari Chandran  

Shankari Chandran

Chai time at Cinnamon Gardens : a novel

Welcome to Cinnamon Gardens, a home for those who are lost and the stories they treasure. Cinnamon Gardens Nursing Home is nestled in the quiet suburb of Westgrove, Sydney - populated with residents with colourful histories, each with their own secrets, triumphs and failings. This is their safe place, an oasis of familiar delights - a beautiful garden, a busy kitchen and a bountiful recreation schedule. But this ordinary neighbourhood is not without its prejudices.

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The Lovers by Yumna Kassab  

Yumna Kassab

The Lovers

"What happens when we become used to each other, when we become bored, when we anticipate each other's moods like the seasons cycled in a day? What happens when you are tired of me and I tire of you? Every couple has a story. How they met, how they fell in love - their ups, their downs. What made them want to be in each other's arms day and night. The struggle of family expectations. The need to please each other, the desire to go their separate ways.

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Iris by Fiona Kelly McGregor  

Fiona Kelly McGregor


"Who is Iris Webber? A thief, a fighter, a wife, a lover. A scammer, a schemer, a friend. A musician, a worker, a big-hearted fool. A woman who has prevailed against the toughest gangsters of the day, defying police time and again, yet is now trapped in a prison cell. Guilty or innocent? Rollicking through the underbelly of 1930s sly-grog Sydney, Iris is a dazzling literary achievement from one of Australia's finest writers.

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