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.''