'Our government jailed his body, but his soul remained that of a free man.' Richard Flanagan
In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally and indefinitely detained on Manus Island.
This book is the result. Written on a smuggled mobile phone and translated from Farsi, it is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through six years of incarceration and exile that - against all the odds - became an award-winning national bestseller.
WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY PRIZE FOR LITERATURE AND THE PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2019
WINNER OF THE NSW PREMIER'S AWARD 2019
WINNER OF THE ABIA GENERAL NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY AWARD 2019
INAUGURAL WINNER OF THE BEHROUZ BOOCHANI AWARD FOR SERVICES TO ANTHROPOLOGY
FINALIST FOR THE TERZANI PRIZE 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE COLIN RODERICK LITERARY AWARD 2019
'Bears lucid, poetic and devastating witness to the insane barbarity enacted in our name.' Michelle de Kretser
'A poetic, yet harrowing read, and every Australian household should have a copy.' Maxine Beneba Clarke
'A powerful account ... made me feel ashamed and outraged. Behrouz's writing is lyrical and poetic, though the horrors he describes are unspeakable.' Sofie Laguna
'A shattering book every Australian should read.' Benjamin Law
'A magnificent writer. To understand the true nature of what it is that we have done, every Australian, beginning with the prime minister, should read Behrouz Boochani's intense, lyrical and psychologically perceptive prose-poetry masterpiece.' The Age
'An essential historical document.' The Australian
Behrouz Boochani holds a Masters degree in political geography and geopolitics. He is a Kurdish-Iranian journalist, scholar, cultural advocate, writer and filmmaker, founder of the Kurdish language magazine Weya, an Honorary Member of PEN International. In 2013, he fled Iran and became a political prisoner of the Australian Government incarcerated in the Manus Regional Processing Centre (Papua New Guinea). Translator Dr Omid Tofighian is a lecturer, researcher and community advocate based at the American University of Cairo and University of Sydney. His work combines philosophy with interests in rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He contributes to community arts and cultural projects and works with asylum seekers, refugees and young people from Western Sydney. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles and is author of Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues (Palgrave 2016). He has translated a number of articles for Behrouz Boochani for the Guardian.