Peter Temple’s Truth wins the Miles Franklin award

Truth  Thanks to Kim of Reading Matters and Lucy Ramsey of Quercus for letting me know today that Peter Temple has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Australian Booker, for Truth. Quercus publishes the novel in the UK and Text in Australia. I reviewed it in January of this year and called it: 

"a fantastic book: it has a strong, satisfying plot; yet in its brutal, sad poetry it is a telling account of the myriad tragedies and ruined lives in our shallow, materialistic and unedifying age, dominated by our fascination with the power of technology and wealth, but lacking principle, depth or kindness."  

I provided some links in that review, particularly to an interview with the author in The Age, in which he discusses this book. From that interview: 

So what is it about truth? It's what a writer does, Temple says, ''create the illusion of truth. If you're looking for truth then it's going to be truth of another kind. If there's going to be truth in it, it's about the emotional response, it's not about the accuracy of the detail. It's about the fact that it spoke to you.'' 

There is a more recent interview with the author in tomorrow's (24 June) Sydney Morning Herald

On Tuesday night Temple followed in the footsteps of more conventionally literary writers such as Tim Winton, Thea Astley and Patrick White by winning Australia's pre-eminent prize for fiction…….Temple has always taken the view that a writer can do anything with crime. In Truth he is interested in power and its exercise. ''What I see as the disintegration of things, the way every step forward carries with it its own slide backwards, that all the things we try to do even with the best of intentions are doomed.'' And the bleak political world he unmasks in the book? Simply the way he sees it. ''It is the perception of reality. What is the reality itself? People don't really know.''

My review of Truth.

Truth at the Quercus website.

5 thoughts on “Peter Temple’s Truth wins the Miles Franklin award

  1. A bit of a hasty write-up Margot, but I was so pleased as the book is excellent and complex, and the award so well deserved.

  2. I read “The Broken Shore,” and liked it much. Cannot wait to read “Truth.”

  3. Maxine, there’s a good radio interview that you might like at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2010/2934610.htm – it was recorded pre-award but talks a lot about the novel and what he was trying to do with it. It runs about 15 minutes.
    I am pleased too, on a number of levels. My inability to review the book properly does not in any way diminish the fact I think it’s an extraordinary book. And him winning the award might shut up a few of those ‘it’s only genre fiction’ haters.

  4. Thanks, Bernadette, will check it out. I think this is an extremely hard book to review as it is so dense and referential to so many things, not least other books by the author, but more than that. Many people have said they need to read it twice. I have read various “mainstream” reviews of this book which should be ashamed of themselves (so to speak) so I hope that now those concerned will give the book the attention and concentration it deserves.

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