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Chris Raja Chris Raja i(A73641 works by) (a.k.a. Christopher Raja; Christopher David Raja)
Born: Established: Calcutta,
South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1986
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Chris Raja came to Australia from Calcutta with his family at the age of eleven and lives in Alice Springs. He holds a BA (Hons), Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education and a Post Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Melbourne. Raja has taught in schools in Melbourne and in the Alice Springs area.

His writing has been broadcast on ABC Radio National and has appeared in The Age, Alice Springs News, Resident Magazine, Photofile Magazine, Meanjin, Quadrant, Southerly, Art Monthly Australia and Fishtails in the Dust : An Anthology of Central Australian Writing. In 2008 he was awarded a LongLines Reading and Consultation at Varuna. In 2011, he taught English and History at St Philips College, Alice Springs.

In October 2010 Chris was the Northern Territory correspondent for Art Monthly Australia. In December 2020, he was announced as the 2021 UTS Copyright Agency Writer-in-Residence: during his New Writer's residency, he intended to work on his third book, a novel written from the perspective of a South-East-Asian cameleer working in the Australian outback in the late nineteenth century.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2021 recipient UTS New Writers Fellow
2020 recipient City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants for The Cameleer
2019 shortlisted PRH Australia Literary Prize for 'Keysborough'.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Into the Suburbs : A Migrant's Story St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 19629725 2020 single work autobiography

'‘In Calcutta we were crammed in among crowds, traffic and pollution. We had visions of breathing fresh, clean air and living in a classless society where everyone was your mate.’

'Christopher Raja was eleven years old when his father, David, decided to move the family to Australia in pursuit of the idyllic lifestyle. They brought their hopes and aspirations to a bungalow in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. On the surface, the Rajas appeared to be living a ‘normal’ Australian life.

'Throughout his teenage years, Christopher embraces the freedoms of his adopted country, while his father becomes more and more disenchanted. Just as Christopher is settling into university, the family is rocked by a tragic and unexpected loss.

'Exploring topical issues of race, class and migration, Into the Suburbs is an affecting portrait of one family’s search for home.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2021 highly commended National Biography Award
y separately published work icon The Burning Elephant Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2015 8622734 2015 single work children's fiction children's

'The Burning Elephant is set in Kolkata before and after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, which led to widespread violence against India’s Sikh population. The novel is told from the point of view of a young boy Govinda, whose father is the headmaster of a local school. It begins with the intrusion into the schoolyard of an elephant that has escaped from its owner, and is seen as such a danger that he is immediately shot, then burnt by the police. This outbreak of violence in the idyllic world of childhood sets the tone for the novel as a whole, which gives the innocent yet knowing perspectives of Govinda in his engagement with the crowded and complex life of Serpent Lane outside the school, his awareness of the breakdown of the relationship between his parents, his sense that his own privileged life is under threat. The way the tensions in his family are rendered against the backdrop of the larger social tensions in India, while at the same time maintaining Govinda’s child-like point of view, is particularly compelling. It is the outbreak of violence after Indira Gandhi’s death which finally causes Govinda’s father to migrate to Australia – and it is the implicit lesson of this novel, never spelt out, but felt throughout, that such horror is often a central fact of migration to this country.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Territory Read Book of the Year Chief Minister's Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon The First Garden Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2012 Z1887471 2012 single work drama

'The First Garden tells the story of Olive Pink—a trailblazing Aboriginal land rights activist and environmentalist. Ridiculed by her peers and shunned by the Alice Springs community for espousing ideals that were considered to be outlandish she was viewed as a public nuisance, to be barely tolerated. However, due to her vigor and vision the Olive Pink Botanical Garden was established in Alice Springs.

The First Garden also touches on key narratives in modern Australian identity, seamlessly incorporating Aboriginal rights, environmentalism, the Gallipoli legend and feminism into its gentle rhythmic tone. This reflects a maturation of our society, where we are prepared not only to acknowledge but also to reconcile.' Source: (Sighted 14/09/2012).

2014 shortlisted Territory Read Book of the Year Chief Minister's Book of the Year Award
Last amended 11 May 2021 09:48:49
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