Eva Collins
Puncher & Wattmann

In her memoir Ask No Questions, Eva Collins charts her family’s journey from Poland to Australia during the Cold War. Her restrained tone reflects the threat her parents experienced of the Communist regime and of ubiquitous anti-Semitism. Simply written and deeply moving she captures loss and gain, grief and celebration with great poignancy. With a third of Australians born overseas and half of the population with one migrant parent, Ask No Questions forms a crucial part of our national experience. Its accessible poetry is particularly suited to young adult readers.
Puncher & Wattmann

Judges’ Comments

Ask No Questions is an excellent example of less being more and a true instance of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. The story is complex and anxious, dealing with seriously distressing themes but rendered so accessible through the gentle and simple blank verse poetry. The description of being a stranger in a strange land is strongly accurate and evokes an extra layer of emotion. The final return is a fitting rounding off for this journey that so many Australians will have experienced.

Creative Responses