The shortlist for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award comprises just three titles: Roger McDonald's When Colts Ran, Kim Scott's That Deadman Dance and Chris Womersley's Bereft. (Six books were shortlisted in 2010.) The judging panel writes: 'these shortlisted books have a distinctive, indelible Australian voice. It's a voice that has nothing to do with reflex nationalism, or jingoism – rather the reverse. The shortlisted books this year are like barometers of the state of our culture: they take the readings, and give them back to us in fiction of extraordinary accomplishment. They force us to look again at ourselves, and to think – hard.'
The Miles Franklin is awarded annually for the novel which is of 'the highest literary merit' and which presents 'Australian life in any of its phases'. It is administered by The Trust Company's philanthropic division. Trust will officially launch a new website for the Miles Franklin in June 2011; for a preview of the site, and the judges' comments on this year's shortlisted titles, click here.