Sri Lankan-Born Author Wins More Book Awards in Australia Featured

Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00 Written by  Published in Sri Lanka News

Multi-award-winning Sri Lankan-born author Michelle de Kretser has picked up another A$60,000 in prize money for her latest novel "Questions Of Travel."

It has been named Book of the Year at the New South Wales (NSW) Premier's Literary Awards, as well as winning the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and sharing the Multicultural Award. The novel also won last year's Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction.

The author is delighted with her win. "Well it's always a thrill each time and it's always a surprise too, because you're up against a different set of books and I never imagine it's going to be me," Sydney-based de Kretser told ABC News.

"Questions Of Travel" is about the intersecting lives of an Australian woman who looks for meaning in foreign cultures and a Sri Lankan man forced to flee to Australia after his wife and child are killed in political violence.

The judges of the NSW Premier's Awards praised the novel's mastery of language, imagery and detail, along with the resonance and power of the story.


De Kretser attributes her success to striking a chord with readers.

"Australians are big travellers: travelling as a tourist, which many Australians are very familiar with; migration as travel, again that applies to a huge number of people in the community; and of course the travel of asylum seekers, which is such a vital political issue," she said.

De Kretser drew on her own experiences backpacking and living overseas to inform her characters in Questions Of Travel. Her migration from Sri Lanka when she was a teenager was also important.

"Of course my interest in Sri Lanka stems from the fact that I spent the first 14 years of my life there, and my interest in global lives and the way that individuals' lives are shaped by their historical moment," she said.

Michelle de Kretser (born 11 November 1957) is an Australian novelist who was born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), and moved to Australia in 1972 when she was 14

2004 – Encore Prize for The Hamilton Case
2004 – Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South-East Asia and the Pacific]] for The Hamilton Case
2005 – Tasmania Pacific Award for The Hamilton Case
2007 – Liberatur Award for The Hamilton Case
2008 – New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards – Christina Stead Prize for fiction and Book of the Year for The Lost Dog
2008 – ALS Gold Medal for The Lost Dog
2013 – Miles Franklin Award for Questions of Travel
2013 – ALS Gold Medal for Questions of Travel
2013 – Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction Prize for Questions of Travel
2013 – Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction Prize and Premier's Prize for Questions of Travel
2014 – New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards – Christina Stead Prize for fiction for Questions of Travel


Last modified on Thursday, 29 May 2014 06:32