Local Author’s Book on Shortlist

Author Rashida Murphy. Picture: Marziya Mohammedali
Author Rashida Murphy. Picture: Marziya Mohammedali

GREENWOOD writer Rashida Murphy’s debut novel has been shortlisted for an international award.

Mrs Murphy finished writing The Historian’s Daughter in January this year and submitted it for the Dundee International Book Prize 2015, which is open to any unpublished novel.

Along with £10,000 cash, the winning author will receive a publishing deal, which Mrs Murphy said would mean “absolutely everything.”

“Nobody wants to look at a first time writer so it makes it hard (to get published). To make the shortlist is enough, I’m not looking beyond that at the moment,” she said.

Mrs Murphy is one of two Australians shortlisted for the prize, with the other writers from the USA, Scotland, England, Singapore and Iceland.

She has had poems, essays and short stories published but The Historian’s Daughter was Mrs Murphy’s first attempt at a novel, done as part of her PhD in writing.

“It took four years, one month and four days…not that I’m counting,” she said.

“It was challenging, a long, hard road and there were lots of times I thought I would give up but I kept going.”

Mrs Murphy said the novel was based on historical research and family memories.

“I was interested in the way refugees and immigrants were treated in Australia, it ended up being about an immigrant family from India and challenges they face,” she said.