The State Library of New South Wales announced that Behrouz Boochani's No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison won the AU$25,000 (about US$16,885) National Biography Award "for a published work of biographical or autobiographical writing aiming to promote public interest in these genres."
The judges praised Boochani's work for its poetic and epic writing, calling the book "profoundly important, an astonishing act of witness and testament to the lifesaving power of writing as resistance."
Behrouz commented: "I don't want to talk about literature, just I would like to say that I think the literature community as a part of civil society of Australia are part of our resistance in front of this system and I think it is very valuable, and I do appreciate everyone for recognizing my work.... I don't know what to say, just thank you very much. I think history will judge this generation and will judge all of us in this hard and dark period of Australian history. Thank you very much."
The inaugural $5,000 (about US$3,375) Michael Crouch Award for a Debut Work was presented to Sofija Stefanovic for her memoir Miss Ex- Yugoslavia, which the judges described as a "finely observed and ambitious debut memoir which is a thoughtful and tender addition to the genre of migration stories."