Jennifer Down wins the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award

An epic novel about trauma, vulnerability and regeneration takes out the nation's top literary prize.

Melbourne-based Jennifer Down has won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for her second novel, Bodies of Light. Down is one of the youngest authors to win the Award in its 65-year history (the youngest was 23-year-old Randolph Stow for To the Islands in 1958).

On receipt of the award, Down said: ‘To be longlisted, and then shortlisted, among authors whose works I’ve long read and admired, already felt like a stroke of exceptional fortune. I was, and am elated to be in the company of writers embracing stylistic, thematic and formal diversity, whose works explore such different slivers of “Australian life”.’ 

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Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on