Refugees & asylum seekers in fiction

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling

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 Read reviewDaughter of Bad Times

Daughter of Bad Times

Rohan Wilson

A suspenseful, truthful and compelling novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Roving Party. 

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The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

Shokoofeh Azar

This book is an extraordinarily powerful and evocative literary novel set in Iran in the period immediately after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Using the lyrical magic realism style of classical Persian storytelling, Azar draws...

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 Read reviewThe Book of Ordinary People

The Book of Ordinary People

Claire Varley

Six strangers bound by fate.

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Between Us

Between Us

Clare Atkins

Winner of the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers 2019. Ana's in a detention centre and Jono's life is spiralling out of control. Can their growing romance overcome the borders between them?

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 Read reviewRed Birds

Red Birds

Mohammed Hanif

Written with his trademark wit, keen eye for absurdity and telling important truths about the world today, Red Birds reveals master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers.   

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 Read reviewThe Refugees

The Refugees

Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.

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 Read reviewZenobia

Zenobia

Morten Dürr, Lars Horneman

When the Syrian war reaches Amina's village she's forced to escape, and during her perilous journey she thinks of the brave warrior Zenobia to remind her to stay strong.

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 Read reviewForeign Soil

Foreign Soil

Maxine Beneba Clarke

In this collection of award-winning stories, Melbourne writer Maxine Beneba Clarke has given a voice to the disenfranchised, the lost, the downtrodden and the mistreated. It will challenge you, it will have you by the...

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 Read reviewNo More Boats

No More Boats

Felicity Castagna

The new novel by Felicity Castagna, whose previous book, The Incredible Here and Now, won the 2015 Prime Minister's Award for Young Adult Fiction and was shortlisted for the CBCA and NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

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 Read reviewOn The Java Ridge

On The Java Ridge

Jock Serong

A literary novel about politics and seeking asylum, with the pace and tension of a political thriller. Plus some of the most compelling writing about the sea since Patrick O'Brian.

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 Read reviewPrize Fighter

Prize Fighter

Future D. Fidel

A Congolese refugee getting by in the Australian suburbs, Isa has a background that seems unimaginable in his new country - a childhood as a boy soldier. Now, Isa's a brilliant boxer, but his most difficult opponent isn't in the...

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Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien

Written with exquisite intimacy, wit and moral complexity, Do Not Say We Have Nothing magnificently brings to life one of the most significant political regimes of the 20th century and its traumatic legacy, which still resonates...

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Sea Prayer

Sea Prayer

Khaled Hosseini, Dan Williams

A heart-wrenching, exquisitely illustrated new story from Khaled Hosseini

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On The Java Ridge

On The Java Ridge

Jock Serong

A literary novel about politics and seeking asylum, with the pace and tension of a political thriller. Plus some of the most compelling writing about the sea since Patrick O'Brian.

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Exit West

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Chabon

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder...

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The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

For fans of The Kite Runner, a magical yet very moving story of one young Syrian girl's journey to find her way home.

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Pachinko

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

A victorian epic transplanted to Japan, following a Korean family of immigrants through eight decades and four generations.

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 Read reviewBeneath the Darkening Sky

Beneath the Darkening Sky

Majok Tulba

When Obinna's village is attacked by the rebel army, he witnesses violence beyond the capacity of his imagination and comprehension, including the murder of his father. Along with his older brother, Obinna is taken along with the...

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 Read reviewBlack Rock White City

Black Rock White City

A.S. Patric

Intensely human, yet majestic in its moral vision, Black Rock White City is an essential story of Australia's suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of two refugees as...

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