Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, which the author describes as a “picture book” but media reports are calling a graphic novel, has won Australia’s Community Relations Commission (CRC) Literary Award for 2007, a $15,000 award.
Mr Tan’s novel illustrates the stories of migrants as they undertake journeys to other countries.
Australian born Mr Tan’s work was highly praised by CRC chairman Stepan Kerkyasharian.
“It can be very difficult for non-migrants to empathise with this experience but Shaun Tan’s work gives the reader a superb insight into the process and the emotions of leaving the homeland for good,” he said.
“Compulsive, rhythmic, heart-breaking and inspiring, it is the intimate details within the vast landscapes that draw the eye of the observer.
“The Arrival is a master work, with time as one of its major images.”
On the author’s website, where you can find preview pages from this and several other books, he says:
Most of my time is currently spent writing and illustrating picture books, which have reached quite a broad readership in Australia and overseas via foreign publication and translation into several languages. They are best described as ‘picture books for older readers’ rather than young children, as they deal with relatively complex visual styles and themes, including colonial imperialism, social apathy, the nature of memory and depression.
He also has a longer essay about how picture books aren’t just for children.