Temple by a Miles

Peter Temple has picked up Australia’s most celebrated prize, the Miles Franklin, for his crime book, Truth.

It’s the first time a genre novel has won the literary gong and Text Publishing claims that it is the first time a crime novel has won a major literary prize in English. It’s a crime novel set against the backdrop of the Black Saturday bushfires and Text have a history publishing Shane Maloney’s quirkier crime books. The Miles nod to crime acknowledges that crime fiction is becoming more sophisticated.

But who picked the Temple for the big prize. Yesterday we gave Craig Silvey a chance while the SMH backed Temple. Over at the Australian, Sephen Romeii would have got it with a bet each way as his “money remains on Alex Miller, with Peter Temple a shortening second-favourite”. But way back in December, Wheeler Centre Director Chrissy Sharp hailed Temple as “a wonderful writer and this is his most complex and compelling plot yet and, in Villani, his most complex character.”

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