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No Friend But the Mountains : Writing from Manus Prison - Behrouz Boochani

No Friend But the Mountains

Writing from Manus Prison

By: Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian (Translator)

Paperback Published: 29th May 2018
ISBN: 9781760555382
Number Of Pages: 416

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Winner of the 2019 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards for Non-fiction and Literature

Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains...

Since 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani has been held in the Manus Island offshore processing centre.

People would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests...

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.

Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains?

'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

About the Author

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).

About the Translator

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.

The Truth....beautifully written and translated.


The shocking truth about the Australian Government's inhumanity. Written with such courage and honesty. A difficult and very important read.

Gold Coast


Incredibly brave and sad story


Thank you for publishing this story, it is an eye opener for Australians and people around the globe about the injustices of the migration policies



A brilliant insight into the culture on Manus Island


This book should be essential reading for all in the lead up to the upcoming Federal election. The powerful in this country have lost any trace of humanity.... But then the government outsourced the running of the overseas detention centres and washed their hands of any responsibility for the mental torture and mistreatment of men escaping persecution in their home countries...



an Intense and harrowing MUST read


This is an intense and emotional read. I am taking my time over it but feel it is something everyone should be aware of.





Very well written, giving an insight into the horrors and fears facing refugees trying to come to Australia and the inhumane treatment they have received from a country which claims to be inclusive and humane.



Brilliant book about Australia's shame


There are two sides to every story. We've heard the Australian government's account, now read the account of a refugee's first hand account.

Central Coast


A challenging read, but well worth it


The humanity of an Iranian refugee and the inhumanity of the Australian government are clearly revealed. Just how abominably refugees are treated is quite sickening when we call ourselves a modern and welcoming society.

Gulgong NSW


I shed many tears as I read this book. I loved the poetry.


It is a long time since I have been moved by reading a good book. I feel sad to read of this man's ordeal and worry that he is not in Australia. A beautiful book. A must read for all Australians.

Red Rock nsw


Manus from the inside - a revelation


For anyone seeking the truth about the effects of Australia's immigration policy and detention centres, this book is a must-read. Sent out of Manus in the form of text messages from a mobile phone, and then translated from Parsi into English, this is a confrontingly direct and deeply thought-provoking first-hand account of the author and his companions' boat journey to Australia and their experiences thereafter. A highly gifted writer, Boochani incorporates lyrical poetry, musing about the depth of the culture he left behind and philosophising about the meaning and implications of all that he is going through, as well as telling descriptions of the characters in the camps and their varied reactions to the harshness and brutality to which they are subjected. He displays penetrating insight into human nature, and the glimpse he offers of Australia's darker side is very unsettling ....



Truth versus politics


This overturns much of the propaganda associated with national refugee policies. They are refugees in spite of the hackneyed rhetoric about economic refugees and undercover terrorists. The truth is told by a very human humanitarian

Fremantle W.A.



4.9 35


ISBN: 9781760555382
ISBN-10: 176055538X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 29th May 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.52

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