Sensing a winner, last year I imported Evie Wyld's second novel All the Birds, Singing [and Kindle] from England. I was hoping for an Australian Miriam Toews and I did love same quality of careful attention to isolated places and remote people: a young woman named Jake tends sheep on a bleak island off the British coast and earlier was a very unlucky teen prostitute in the Outback. Yesterday it won Australia's top literary award, the $60,000 Miles Franklin, and last week it won two awards in the UK: The £10,000 Encore (beating Eleanor Catton's Booker winner The Luminaries) and a £5,000 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. Among her seven fellow winners of that award is Bernardine Evaristo for her atypical gay novel Mr. Loverman.
Evie Wyld runs an independent bookshop in South London. Her debut, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, earned her a spot on Granta's once-a-decade list of the Best Young British Novelists.