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Five books that share a preoccupation with problems of time and identity in both private and public life have been shortlisted for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Among the finalists for the $42,000 prize are previous Miles Franklin winners Rodney Hall and Alex Miller.
Hall's novel, Love Without Hope, tells the story of Laura Shoddy - a woman wrongly commited to a mental asylum.
In Miller's Landscape of Farewell, a German academic delves into the traumas of Australia's frontier history.
Both novels are set in the Australian bush.
Also shortlisted is David Brooks's The Fern Tattoo, Steven Carroll's The Time We Have Taken and Gail Jones's Sorry.
The five finalists were selected from the 59 entrants for this year's award.
Of the five shortlisted authors, Brooks is the only first time nominee.
The winner will be announced at the News South Wales State Library on June 19.
Previous recipients of the award include famed Australian authors such as Patrick White, Elizabeth Jolley, Tim Winton and Alexis Wright.