Book On Timor-Leste Wins Top Prize In Canberra

Last update: 09/03/2015

MELBOURNE, March 9 (Bernama) -- A book on Timor Leste written by a university researcher in Canberra Dr Gordon Peake has been named ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Book of the Year, The Canberra Times reported.

Titled Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles and Secrets from Timor-Leste, it beat a record field of 48 nominations and four others in the shortlist, as well as taking out the inaugural People's Choice Award.

In 2007 Peake went to Dili for a short research trip but stayed on for four years, impressed by the fledgling nation and its wonderful people.

"I was totally smitten by the place," he told The Canberra Times.

Peake, who works as a researcher at the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific, said he wrote the book as a way that would actually explain to the lay reader what Timor is, what building a state looks like.

According to The Canberra Times the judging panel described Beloved Land as "a compelling work merging the personal with the historical ... surprising, sometimes confronting and very poignant."