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July 25, 2023

The winner of the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award has been announced. The winner was chosen from a list of six shortlisted novels chosen in May. The winner receives $60,000.


Miles Franklin Winner 2023 - Book of the Year - image Link to the book
Congratulations to Shankari Chandran for winning the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award for Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens.

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Anji runs the nursing home, Cinnamon Gardens, that her 80 year old mother Maya technically owns in one of Sydney's western suburbs. It is a caring place, and though there are hierarchies amongst the multi-cultural residents, yet they are a cohesive and vibrant community. While it is exactly the sort of place you would want your elderly relatives to live out the last of their days, there are problems - money, staff and worst of all, community. When the home, and one of the staff in particular, is targeted by vile racists, it is the catalyst for devastating developments…

The story weaves backwards and forwards in time, with shifting viewpoints and complicated relationships. It takes in the appallingly tragic consequences of the civil war in Sri Lanka - some of the most affecting parts of the novel show the horrors that occurred there, and the dreadful choices people had to make. Despite an innocuous title that seems to indicate a feel-good story, this is a strong and powerful novel that deals with a multitude of themes - our treatment of the elderly, of refugees and migrants, and the bonds that make families and the stresses that destroy relationships - and the damage politicians (and the media that report their actions) can inflict without thought and with unlooked-for consequences. Well worth reading, and thinking about...  Lindy
This year’s judging panel comprises State Library of NSW Mitchell librarian Richard Neville, critics Bernadette Brennan and James Ley, scholar Mridula Nath Chakraborty, and writer and editor Elfie Shiosaki. The judges said the 2023 shortlist celebrates six works ‘that delve deeply into archives and memory, play confidently with style and structure and strike new grounds in language and form’. ‘From deeply immersive tales to polished jewels of craft, from lyrical mappings of land to convention-breaking chronicles, this is novel-writing at its freshest and boldest,’ the judges said.

Each shortlisted author received $5,000.