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Thu Jan 31, 2019, 08:12 PM

Behrouz Boochani: detained asylum seeker wins Australia's richest literary prize

"The winner of Australia’s richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony.

His absence was not by choice.

Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the $25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards and the $100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.

The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island."


I've read the book, and I couldn't help but think that much of the privations suffered by the asylum seekers on Manus are carried out from pure spite. It would be completely in line with the attitudes of our psychopathic Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton. The U.S. doesn't have a monopoly on deranged leaders!

The book is all the more extraordinary to read when you take into account that it was written in secret on a mobile phone, and translated in Australia, over many months.

It's not an easy read, but very enlightening - should be compulsory for Australians, and worth the time of anybody else who feels their country might be heading down the wrong path on attitudes to immigrants.

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