Jennifer Down captured the Australian community with her book called Bodies of Light. Recently, her novel landed her a top spot and eventually a win for the Mile Franklin Award.
31-year-old Jennifer Down the youngest writer to win Mile Franklin Award
Thus far, Jennifer Down is the sixth woman to win the Mile Franklin Award in a row. Around seven women out of 17 winners have won the award so far.
To date, Bodies of Light deals with one character named Holly. Who lives with childhood trauma and consistently seeks to reinvent herself.
As shared by The Age, Bodies of Light opens up with Holly as an adult. The story begins when Holly receives a Facebook message from someone in her past. Who recognized her from a picture that went viral.
Right now, the novel written by Jennifer Down encapsulates the story of a child who was moved from home to home and endured abuse from the families she was placed with.
A novel about neglected issues in society
According to Jennifer Down, although Bodies of Light is a fictional book, most of the work is grounded in real experiences and extensive research into the current system of children without homes.
“For a really long time I’ve been appalled with the way we as Australian society are prepared to ignore or neglect marginalized children and young people, in particular,”
So far, what won Jennifer Down the $60 000 prize was her ability to craft a story that is particularly difficult to tell. And one that encompassed the current issues in the Australian society.
Thus far, the judges shared that Jennifer Down had “written an important book which speaks to an urgent issue in contemporary Australian life”.
Among her shortlisted competitors were Michael Mohammed, Michelle De Kretser, Alice Pung, and Michael Winker. Each finalist won a $5000 prize.