No Friend but the Mountains

No Friend but the Mountains

Writing From Manus Prison

Book - 2019
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"In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island, a refugee detention centre off the coast of Australia. He has been there ever since. This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile."--
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Anansi International,, 2019.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781487006839
Branch Call Number: 325.210955 B7241B
Characteristics: xii, 398 pages ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Tofighian, Omid - Translator


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STPL_JessH Sep 11, 2019

Let me say first, that I am grateful for this book. It is an incredibly brave piece, and a valuable record of life in deplorable conditions. I was so moved by the poetic nature of this work which is at once philosophical and painstakingly concrete.

I admit that I found Boochani's writing troubling at times. I was confused in the moments he writes as though he can speak for all prisoners or knows what they are thinking. At times, Boochani also demonstrates his difference from other prisoners in a way that can be read as patronizing or proud though he is careful to point out that he is not being proud (235). I also found some of Boochani's descriptions of women really problematic.

That said, this book is literary, poetic, and a valuable record of what it means to be imprisoned in an immigrant detention centre under inhumane conditions.

Aug 10, 2019

A deeply reflective narrative of escape and the experiences of being close to despair and hope, life and death. Intense. Highlights the physical and psychological impact of the monotony and isolation of life imprisoned on Manus. Darkness of captors when there is no humanity. Quite a slow intense read.

Colleenita Jun 30, 2019

This book is simply astounding on all levels - the Manus setting, circumstances of publication and the extremely powerful and poetic writing make it a very special work. I would advise skipping the rather academic and conceptual translator's intro - and there's another essay at the end anyway. It is a daunting lead-in. Just start reading the main body.

Mar 01, 2019

Winner of Australia's Victorian Prize for literature, although the author is not allowed to accept the prize in person.


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