A Kurdish refugee who’s been detained on Manus Island for six years has won Australia’s richest prize for biographical writing.
Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani won the 2019 National Biography Award worth $25,000 for his book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.
Mr Boochani thanked Australia’s literary community and civil society for being “part of our resistance in front of this system”.
“History will judge this generation and will judge all of us in this hard and dark period of Australian history,” he said when accepting his award from Manus Island via WhatsApp.
The judges praised No Friend But the Mountains as poetic and epic writing, the State Library of NSW said in a statement on Monday.
They called the book “profoundly important (and) an astonishing act of witness and testament to the lifesaving power of writing as resistance”.
Mr Boochani in late January took out the top prize worth $100,000 at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
No Friend But the Mountains also won the non-fiction prize worth $25,000 at the Victorian awards.