Sami Shah: ‘Everyone wants to know my story as a non-fiction piece'

Sami Shah discusses barriers to diversity when writing fiction in Australia.

The Next Chapter: Sami Shah on barriers to diversity

'I'm a brown immigrant from Pakistan in Australia, so everyone wants to know my story as a non-fiction piece. So the first thing they wanted was the autobiography. If I go to a publisher and say, "Hey, I have another book about being a brown person in Australia", they'll be like, "Great, we want that book, as long as it's about you".'

'But no one wants fiction or anything else from people of colour in Australia. You know, there's no spy novels by a black writer in Australia, there's no murder mysteries by an Indigenous writer or by an Asian writer or anything like that. We can only tell our stories, so our stories get fetishised. But the stories we want to tell, if they're fiction, no one's interested in, because they're not seen as relatable.'