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2022 - Shortlisted
In this timely and compelling work, Randa Abdel-Fattah interrogates the outlook, social consciousness and thought processes of an entire generation that has only ever known a world marred by 9/11. Drawing on interviews with Muslim and non-Muslim youth to probe for the emotional and social impact of the war on terror on their lives, Abdel-Fattah delivers a robust and critical assessment of Australia as we know it today.
The author and academic expertly identifies the role that foreign policy, local political discourse and media rhetoric play in the normalisation of otherness, challenging the reader to see the link between a manufactured Australian ideology built on exclusion, and a rising and deadly white supremacy. Despite an extensive back catalogue of award-winning fiction, this is Abdel-Fattah at her finest — Coming of Age in the War on Terror is global in scope, well-researched and immaculately argued; an imperative and urgent work that invites deep reflection.