La Trobe Graduate, Steven Carroll wins Miles Franklin

On Thursday 19 June at a gala dinner held at the State Library of New South Wales, Steven Carroll was announced as the 2008 winner for his novel The Time We Have Taken (HarperCollinsPublishers Australia.

On accepting the Award, Steven Carroll said :

"It's an extraordinary thrill and an honour - but it's also daunting to be joining a long list of authors whom you've either studied or admired for years. The Miles Franklin comes with the gravitas of a whole literary tradition, and you feel that weight almost instantly."

Commenting on the winner's novel, the Judging Panel wrote:

"Carroll's novel is a poised, philosophically profound exploration of the question, a stand-alone work that is moving and indelible in its evocation of the extraordinary in ordinary lives."

His publisher, Linda Funnell, Fiction Publisher, from HarperCollins Publishers Australia said that it is tremendously exciting to see this recognition of Steven Carroll.

"The Miles Franklin remains Australia's best-known and most prestigious literary award, and brings with it a unique opportunity to introduce Steve's work to a wider audience. The Time We Have Taken counterpoints the story of a family with that of a community – and a nation – also undergoing great change. It is rich, lyrical and profound. In taking suburban life as his setting, Steven Carroll does what great novelists do: he holds a mirror up to the familiar, and reveals it to us afresh, challenging us to look again," Ms Funnell said.

About Steven Carroll

Steven Carroll was born in Melbourne. He was educated at La Trobe University and taught English in high schools before playing in bands in the 1970s. After leaving the music scene he began writing as a playwright and became the theatre critic for the Sunday Age.

His first novel, Remember Me, Jimmy James, was published in 1992. This was followed by Momoko (1994), The Love Song of Lucy McBride (1998), and then The Art of the Engine Driver (2001) and The Gift of Speed (2004), shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2002 and 2005, respectively. The Art of the Engine Driver was also shortlisted in 2005 for the Prix Femina, France's prestigious literary award for the best foreign novel.

Steven Carroll lives in Melbourne with his partner and son.