No Friend but the Mountains
Translated by Omid Tofighian
The Award-winning International Bestselling Story of One Man's Six Year Detention in Australia
‘A powerfully vivid account of the experiences of a refugee: desperation, brutality, suffering, and all observed with an eye that seems to see everything and told in a voice that’s equal to the task.' - Phillip Pullman
In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani sought asylum in Australia but was instead illegally imprisoned in the country’s most notorious detention centre on Manus Island. This book is the result.
Boochani spent nearly five years typing passages of this book one text at a time from a secret mobile phone in prison. Compiled and translated from Farsi, they form an incredible story of how escaping political persecution in Iran, he ended up trapped as a stateless person. This vivid, gripping portrait of his years of incarceration and exile shines devastating light on the fates of so many people, as borders close around the world.
No Friend but the Mountains is both a brave act of witness and a moving testament to the humanity of all people, in the most extreme of circumstances.
'A brilliant book. No Friend but the Mountains can rightly take its place on the shelf of world prison literature . . . It is a profound victory for a young poet who showed us all how much words can still matter.' - Richard Flanagan, Booker Prize winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North
A chant, a cry from the heart, a lament, fuelled by a fierce urgency, written with the lyricism of a poet, the literary skills of a novelist, and the profound insights of an astute observer of human behaviour and the ruthless politics of a cruel and unjust imprisonment.
Arnold Zable, author of the award-winning Jewels and Ashes and Cafe Scheherazade
The systems of containment and control that the rich world applies to many thousands of migrants and refugees work by reducing people to a faceless presence to either be feared or pitied, but never listened to. In the face of this oppression, Behrouz Boochani's lyrical yet unsparing account is a vital act of resistance, and a unique examination of people pushed to life's extremes.
Daniel Trilling, author of Lights in the Distance
Not for the faint-hearted, it's a powerful, devastating insight into a situation that's so often seen through a political - not personal - lens.