August 14, 2019
Kurdish-Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani won yet another Australian literary award for his autobiography, “No Friend but the Mountains”, however, he was not able to receive the award because he is detained on Manus Island.
Australia’s State Library of New South Wales said the autobiography won this year’s $25,000 National Biography Award.
Boochani fled Iran in 2013 under fear of persecution against Kurds. He has been detained in the illegal immigrants detention on the Manus Island since then, following his arrest by Australian marines after he was rescued by Indonesian sailors.
Authorities continue to refuse to grant him entry.
He composed the book one text message at a time from Manus and was translated from Persian.
Boochani could not attend the awards ceremony and appeared via WhatsApp to accept the prize.
“No Friend but the Mountains” has already won $125,000 at the Victorian premier’s literary awards, $10,000 at the New South Wales premier’s literary awards, and non-fiction book of the year at the Australian Book Industry awards.
Boochani’s autobiography tells his journey from Indonesia to Australia by boat after escaping Iran.