At an announcement made on the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival, A.S. Patrić took home the $60,000 prize money, for his début novel Black Rock White City. All shortlisted applicants, which this year featured three first time nominees (including Patrić), received $5,000.
The award celebrates uniquely Australian works, with the 2016 prize focusing on identity struggles. According to Franklin’s own criteria, works must be “of the highest literary merit,” and “show Australian life in any of its phases.”
Patrić’s novel is described as a fresh and powerful exploration of the immigrant experience and Australian life that explores the damages of war, the constraints of choice, the possibility of redemptive love and social isolation amid suburbia.