Australia

Self-published novel makes history with Miles Franklin nomination

When author Michael Winkler couldn’t find a publisher for his first Grimmish novel, he paid for a 500-copy print, and promoted it via social media.
“People with a taste for more experimental, more ambitious types of writing came after him. It was great, I managed to sell all my books,” he said.

Grimmish is based on the true story of a Chilean American boxer who came to Australia in 1908 and who, according to Mr Winkler, had a great ability to take physical punishment in the ring.

The book explores the terms pain and masculinity. Mr. Winkler says it’s mostly violent – but it’s also very funny.
“It’s a new approach to telling a story. It’s a new approach to what the novel might be,” he said.
The author was considering a second print when publishers Puncher and Wattmann finally picked up his story.
This is the first time a self-published book has been selected for Miles Franklin.
Four other selected books are Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser, One Hundred Days by Alice Pung, Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down, and The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad.
This is the second time a book has been selected by Mr Ahmad, and he is believed to be the only Muslim writer to make the cut.

Mr. Ahmad began writing The Other Half of You in 2015 as a letter to Kahlil, his newborn son, who was lying in his arms in the hospital.

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“Her mother was trying to get a little sleepy, and I just felt that great strength to recount the events that led us to that moment,” she said. “As I began to write the book, it was in my arms.”
Mr. Ahmad said he felt he was writing during an era of global division.
“I wanted to tell a story about us coming together, and I wanted to tell a story that gives us hope and shows us a way forward for our children,” she said.
Another competitor, Michelle de Kretser, won Miles Franklin twice before, in 2013 for Travel Questions, and in 2018 for Upcoming Life.
Only a handful of writers have ever won more than twice, including Tim Winton, Thea Astley and Peter Carey.

Each selected author receives $ 5000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. The $ 60,000 prize winner will be announced on July 20.

Self-published novel makes history with Miles Franklin nomination Source link Self-published novel makes history with Miles Franklin nomination

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