A big congratulations to Sofie Laguna for taking out the Miles Franklin Award for 2015.
Sofie won with her novel, The Eye of the Sheep.
From the media release:
Perpetual, as Trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, today announced Sofie Laguna as the winner of the 2015 award for her novel, The Eye of the Sheep.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the Will of My Brilliant Career author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, to encourage and support writers of Australian literature.
Ms Laguna will receive $60,000 in prize money with her novel strongly presenting “Australian Life in any of its phases” and judged to be of the “highest literary merit”, in line with the criteria set out by Miles Franklin.
Since moving away from careers in law and acting, Melbourne-based Ms Laguna has written for a wide readership, from picture books for very young children to series for older readers. Her debut novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2009.
The Eye of the Sheep was selected from a short list of powerful Australian voices depicting unforgettable characters, including authors Joan London, Sonya Hartnett, Christine Piper and Craig Sherborne.
Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said that the power of Ms Laguna’s finely crafted novel lies in the “raw, high-energy and coruscating language” which describes the world of central character, young Jimmy Flick.
“Jimmy Flick is a character who sees everything, but his manic x-ray perceptions don’t correspond with the way others see his world. His older brother understands him some of the time, and his mother almost all of the time, but other people, including his violent father, just see him as difficult. Weathering successive waves of domestic violence, Jimmy navigates his way through the shoals of alcohol-abuse, illness and tragedy that swamp his parents, and ultimately reaches the possibility of equanimity.”
“The Eye of the Sheep is an extraordinary novel about love and anger, and how sometimes there is little between them,” Mr Neville said.
Mr Neville was joined on the judging panel by The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren; Sydney-based bookseller, Lindy Jones; writer and editor, Craig Munro; and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
For more information, visit the Miles Franklin website.