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Arnold Zable Arnold Zable i(A14409 works by)
Born: Established: 1947 Wellington, Wellington (Region), North Island,
New Zealand,
Pacific Region,
Gender: Male
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Arnold Zable, the child of Polish-Jewish refugee parents, grew up in Carlton, Victoria. He lectured in social sciences and environmental studies at the University of Melbourne during the 1970s, and travelled and worked in the United States, India, Papua-New Guinea, Europe and South-East Asia. He also acted as a visiting lecturer in creative writing at a number of Melbourne Universities.

Zable has been involved in various aspects of migrant education, including conducting writing workshops for migrant children and adults. His autobiographical novel, Jewels and Ashes, received considerable literary attention and a number of awards. Zable's work has been heard in English and Yiddish on Radio 3EA and Radio 3ZZ, and he has read at the Kadimah Cultural Institute and on Jewish Writers Day in 1990 at B'nai B'rith House, Melbourne. He has been a member of the Victorian Storytellers Guild, a member of the Victorian branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW), and president of International PEN Melbourne.

Together with his writings for Victoria's Immigration Museum and membership of the Immigration Museum Advisory Committee, his novels, columns, articles, reviews, and essays clearly demonstrate his devotion to human rights advocacy. Bridging Two Worlds: Jews, Italians and Carlton (1993), the publication based on the Museum of Victoria's exhibition text, was co-written by Zable and he also was involved in the production of The Final Solution: An Attempt at Genocide (1981?). Zabler continued his advocacy activism when he wrote the cultural representation section of Professional Writing and Editing Industry Overview (2000) for the Victorian TAFE. Amongst his works for theatre is a play he co-wrote about the refugee experience, Kan Yama Kan (Once Upon a Time), which was first produced and performed by the Fitzroy Learning Network's refugee performers in 2002 at Trades Hall in Melbourne. In October 2004, Kavisha Mazzella, after working with Zabler on The Fig Tree: A Musical Companion to Arnold Zable's Book (2003), collaborated with him again in the two man show Anytime the Wind Can Change, to dramatise inspiring tales of Australia's indigenous people, immigrants and refugees. His involvement with film includes directing Glenn's Story (1979), script writing for the film that accompanied the planning report he edited called The Industrial Yarra (1976), and co-writing a study guide for the film Squizzy Taylor. As a photographer, he has supplied his own illustrations to his and other authors' children's picture books.

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages: ENGLISH, YIDDISH

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Watermill Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020 17947852 2020 selected work short story

'RANGING from remote provinces in China and Cambodia to pre- and post-war Yiddish Poland, Kurdish Iraq and Iran, and Indigenous and present-day Melbourne, Arnold Zable’s quartet of stories depicts the ebbs and flows of trauma and healing, memory and forgetting, the ancient and the contemporary. And ever-recurring journeys in search of belonging.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Non-Fiction Book Award
y separately published work icon The Fighter : A True Story Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016 9178141 2016 single work biography

'So it’s come to this. Sixty-seven years old and he labours on the docks. Cropped grey-white beard, ex-boxer’s pug nose, he is wiry, rotund and short. His strength is sensed rather than seen, belied by age and excess weight. Vigour is the word. Henry Nissen exudes vigour. His life force is strong. It animates his gestures, powers his determined little walk.

'HENRY Nissen was a champion boxer, the boy from Amess Street in working-class Carlton who fought his way up to beat some of the world’s best in the 1970s. Now, he works on the Melbourne docks, loading and unloading, taking shifts as they come up. But his real work is on the streets. He’s in and out of police stations and courts giving character statements and providing support, working to give the disaffected another chance. And all the while, in the background is the memory of another fighter, his mother—and her devastating decline into madness. The Fighter is a moving and poetic portrait of a compassionate man, but also a window onto the unnoticed recesses of Melbourne.' (Publication summary)

2017 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Multicultural NSW Award
2017 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Award for Non-Fiction
y separately published work icon Violin Lessons Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2011 Z1797198 2011 selected work prose 'From the songs of Arab diva Umm Khultum on the banks of the Tigris to the strains of a young boy playing the violin for his mother in Melbourne, to the swing jazz of the nightclubs and cabarets of 1940s Baghdad, a fisherman playing a flute on the banks of the Mekong, and Paganini in the borderlands of eastern Poland...

'Music weaves its way through each of these spellbinding stories. Each tale, each fragment of music, leads to Amal, the woman who saved her life by clinging to a corpse for twenty hours alone in the sea.

'Arnold Zable takes the reader on an intimate journey into the lives of people he met on travels over the last forty years. These are tales aching to be told. Tales of hardship, of yearning and of celebration. Tales that span the globe, and bring us back to Melbourne to the powerful and heartbreaking story of Amal—her flight from Baghdad, her fears boarding the unseaworthy SIEV X, her survival when it went down, and her desire to have her story told.' (From the publisher's website.)
2012 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Multicultural NSW Award
Last amended 19 Apr 2021 11:51:12
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