NSW PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARDS 2014
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION AWARD FOR A MULTICULTURAL NSW
Marrying Italian: When Love is Not Enough, Vivien Achia (Hybrid Publishers)
This warmly related memoir follows the difficult marriage between an Australian woman and an older Italian man as they struggle and ultimately fail to make a life together in Victoria in the 1970s and early 1980s. It takes the tensions, difficulties and joys that often occur in the relationships within families and examines them through the crucible of a cross-cultural marriage.
Vivien Achia deals sensitively with pervasive issues in the immigration experience as well as in Australian society. Her writing is full of compassion and generosity and driven by a genuine engagement across cultural divides. She captures multiculturalism and its complex interplay with individuals and their often traumatic personal histories evocatively. Struggles to adapt to Australian society, to marriage, to parenthood, to past experiences, are rendered intimately and with an honest portrayal of the consequences for all the members of this family.
Despite the disappointments and the sometimes tragic circumstances this memoir relates, it ultimately serves as a celebration of the migrant experience and the way that it enriches and diversifies the connections within Australian society and between Australia and the rest of the world.