The Miles Franklin Award for 2013 was announced yesterday; the winner being Michelle de Kretser’s ‘Questions of Travel’. The Miles Franklin List for 2013 is dominated by female writers, and the short list of six exclusively female, as is noted in this Trove reading list of the 2013 long and shortlisted books.

This iconic literary award was established through a surprise bequest in the will of the writer Stella Miles Franklin, noting that ‘she hoped the prize would ease the financial burden of other authors’. The award is presented each year to ‘a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases’.

Miles Franklin is best known for her novel 'My Brilliant Career', yet this Trove list shows she was a prolific author as well as an enthusiastic promoter of Australian literature. She also wrote under various pseudonyms, including ‘Brent of Bin Bin’. Her place in the literary world was confirmed with ‘All That Swagger’, published in 1936 to critical acclaim.

The Miles Franklin prize was first awarded in 1957 to Patrick White for ‘Voss’. A personal ‘to do’ list could include reading all the previous Miles Franklin winners. A reading list of those 56 titles and their library location details can be found here.

How quickly a crop of wonderful books can be forgotten as new ones mount up on the bedside table. As a reminder, here is a list of the 2012 Miles Franklin books, and in case you have forgotten, the winner was Anna Funder for ‘All that I am’.