AustLit logo
Elliot Perlman Elliot Perlman i(A16168 works by)
Born: Established: 1964 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Elliot Perlman is the son of second generation Jewish Australians of East European descent. He was educated in Melbourne and graduated from Monash University with degrees in economics and law. Perlman was called to the Bar in 1997 and while working as a barrister, he experimented with short stories. Perlman's gritty social realism condemns the economic rationalism that destroys the humanity of ordinary people when they are confronted with unemployment and poverty. But his fiction also express the tenderness and humour that ranges throughout society.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

The Street Sweeper 2011 single work novel 'How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.

'From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing each other every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some survive to become history.

'Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can't locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few kilometres uptown, Australian historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging out of the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally and perhaps even personally. As these two men try to survive in early twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths - Lamont's and Adam's - lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago to Auschwitz.

'Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling.' (From publisher's website.)
2013 longlisted International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2012 shortlisted Booksellers Choice Award
2012 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year
2012 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2012 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2012 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2012 winner Indie Awards Fiction
2011 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction
Three Dollars 2005 single work film/TV

'Based on Elliot Perlman's award-winning novel, THREE DOLLARS tells the story of an honest, compassionate man who finds himself, at the age of 38, with a wife, a child and three dollars.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 16/12/2013)

2005 winner Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Screenplay - Adapted
2005 winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Adapted Screenplay
2005 shortlisted AWGIE Awards Film Award Feature
Seven Types of Ambiguity 2003 single work novel thriller
2004 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
2004 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2004 shortlisted International Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize South East Asia and South Pacific Region Best Book
Last amended 5 Apr 2007 13:14:26
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: