Arnold Zable is an acclaimed writer, novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes, The Fig Tree, Cafe Scheherazade, Scraps of Heaven, Sea of Many Returns, Violin Lessons, and The Fighter. His most recent book, The Watermill was published in March 2020.
His work ranges across many genres and includes novels, short stories, essays, columns, opinion pieces, newspaper features, online blogs, songs and works for theatre, including co-authorship of Kan Yama Kan, a play in which asylum seekers tell their stories. He has written on a range of social justice issues, and conducted workshops with refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, bushfire survivors, the deaf, and the homeless, among many other groups, fostering writing and story as a means of self-empowerment.
Zable has lectured on writing and human rights issues throughout Australia and internationally and holds a doctorate from the School of Creative Arts, University of Melbourne. He is the immediate past president of PEN International Melbourne, an ambassador of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and a patron of Sanctuary. His awards include the Voltaire prize for the advancement of freedom of expression and the 2017 Australia Council Fellowship for Literature. He is the recipient of the 2021 Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.