Behrouz Boochani won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, and the Prize for Non-Fiction, at the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Behrouz Boochani, an asylum seeker currently detained on Manus Island, has won Australia's richest literary prize. The win commands the question, 'what makes an Australian writer?'
Asylum seekers protesting on Manus Island last year.
Refugee Action Coalition handout
Boochani bears witness to the deterioration of the human spirit on Manus Island, where he's been detained with hundreds of other asylum seekers for the last five years.
Behrouz Boochani photographed on Manus Island.
Jason Garman/Amnesty International via AAP
Behrouz Boochani wrote his memoir of incarceration on Manus Island one text message at a time. Translating this work of 'horrific surrealism' from Farsi to English was a profoundly philosophical experience.