Miles Franklin Winner 2022

Each year, the Miles Franklin Literary Award goes to a stand-out novel that explores Australian life. This year’s winner is Bodies of Light, establishing Jennifer Down as one of the youngest winners in the prize’s history. 

Bodies of Light follows a person throughout her life, presenting a haunting exploration of institutional failings, human connection, and resilience.

So by the grace of a photograph that had inexplicably gone viral, Tony had found me. Or- he’d found Maggie.

I had no way of knowing whether he was nuts or not; whether he might go to the cops. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but I don’t think it’s so ridiculous. People have gone to prison for much lesser things than accusations of child-killing.

A quiet, small-town existence. An unexpected Facebook message, jolting her back to the past. A history she’s reluctant to revisit- dark memories and unspoken trauma, warning knocks on bedroom walls, unfathomable loss.

She became a new person a long time ago. What happens when buried stories are dragged into the light?