Majok Tulba Among the Best Young Australian Novelists
Congratulations to Majok Tulba, who has just been named one of the Six Best Young Australian Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald. Now in its 17th year, the awards go to writers 35 years or younger when their book is published. Tulba was named among the best young novelists for his debut work of fiction, Beneath the Darkening Sky, which the judges applauded as “A stunning debut novel about child soldiers in Africa narrated by an 11-year-old village boy. It is a disturbing story about a child’s loss of innocence as he becomes immune to violence. The story’s devastating anti-war message reminds us of the kinds of worlds from which many migrants have escaped.”
“I was very weak and very skinny,” Tulba, told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”A lot of friends, all boys I played with and looked after goat and cattle with, were taken… Those who came back were changed forever… most of them were damaged.”
“The book is a work of fiction although I used some experiences I had in Sudan,” says Tulba, who fled with his brother to a refugee camp in Uganda when he was nine. They lived there for seven years until they were accepted into Australia. When Tulba arrived here in 2001 he could not speak English, let alone write it. He now lives with his Sudanese wife and three children at Emu Plains.
Tulba and his brother thought their parents, who also live in Sydney, were killed in the war. “They thought both of us were dead, too,” he says. ”After we got in touch with them we realised there are still miracles in this world. It was a beautiful moment.