Awards: Miles Franklin Winner

Bodies of Light by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing) has won the A$60,000 (about US$41,440) 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which recognizes a novel of "the highest literary merit" that presents "Australian life in any of its phases."

The judges said, "Bodies of Light invites readers to witness the all-too-often concealed, destructive forces of institutionalised care. With extraordinary skill and compassion, Down has written an important book which speaks to an urgent issue in contemporary Australian life."

Down said in part, "Bodies of Light took me a long time to write, and, many times over, I doubted I would finish it at all. It is not an easy book. It demands quite a lot from the reader, I think; not in the sense of being academic or intellectually challenging, but in what it asks the reader to sit with and witness. I'm grateful to the judges for their willingness to do so, and for considering this a story worthy of recognition."

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