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Elliot Perlman's picture

Elliot Perlman


Australia (1964 - )

Elliot Perlman is an Australian author and barrister. He has written two novels and one short story collection. His work "condemns the economic rationalism that destroys the humanity of ordinary people when they are confronted with unemployment and poverty". This is not surprising in a writer who admires Raymond Carver and Graham Greene because they "write with quite a strong moral centre and a strong sense of compassion". However, he says that "Part of my task is to entertain readers. I don't want it to be propaganda at all. I don't think that for something to be political fiction it has to offer an alternative, I think just a social critique is enough". He describes himself, in fact, as being interested in "the essence of humanity" and argued that exploring this often means touching on political issues.

Perlman often uses music, and song lyrics, in his work to convey an idea or mood, or to give a sense of who a character is. However, he recognises that this "is a bit of a risk because the less familiar the reader is with the song, the smaller the pay off.
 
Awards
Betty Trask Award Best First Novel winner (1999) : Three Dollars