Asylum seeker wins major literary award
Writer, journalist and Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani, currently detained on Manus Island as part of the Australian government’s offshore detention policy for asylum seekers, has won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature for his nonfiction book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador) at this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. The judging panel called it a ‘stunning work of art and critical theory which evades simple description’. Other winners include: Elise Valmorbida’s The Madonna of the Mountains (Faber) for fiction, Kate Lilley’s Tilt (Vagabond Press) for poetry and Kim Scott’s Taboo (Picador) for Indigenous writing.
The winners have been announced for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The winning titles include: Gerald Murnane’s Border Districts (Giramondo) for fiction, Richard McGregor’s Asia’s Reckoning: The Struggle for Global Dominance (Penguin) for nonfiction and Brian Castro’s Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria (Giramondo) for poetry.
The shortlists have been announced for the Indie Book Awards, selected by Australian independent booksellers, and the longlist has also been announced for the Stella Prize for Australian women’s writing.
Other recent award winners include:
- Bram Presser’s novel The Book of Dirt (Text), winner of the Voss Literary Prize
- Paul Collis’ novel Dancing Home (University of Queensland Press), winner of the ACT Book of the Year
- Helen Pitt’s history of the Sydney Opera House, The House (Allen & Unwin), winner of the Walkley Book Award
- Frank Byrne’s memoir Living in Hope (with Gerard Waterford & Frances Coughlan, Ptilotus Press), winner of the Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Award.