Robin de Crespigny's The People Smuggler is the gripping, inspiring story of one man's escape from Saddam's Iraq to become 'the Oskar Schindler of Asia'.
When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadowy world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring. Through betrayal, triumph, misfortune – even romance and heartbreak – Ali is sustained by his fierce love of freedom and family. Continually pushed to the limits of his endurance, eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.
With enormous power and insight, The People Smuggler tells a story of daily heroism, bringing to life the forces that drive so many people to put their lives in unscrupulous hands. At once a non-fiction thriller and a moral maze, this is one man's epic story of trying to find a safe place in the world.
The People Smuggler was the highest selling Australian book in the 2012 Sydney Writer’s Festival, Sebastian Faulks’s New York Times Favourite Book of the Year in 2013, and became a best-seller with a raft of awards including:
Best Non-Fiction at the Queensland Literary Awards
25th Human Rights Award for Literature
Finalists for The Walkley Book Award.
Penguin’s Head Publisher said, ‘This book has the chance to change the terms of our national debate about refugees."
About the Author
Robin de Crespigny has spent three years working with Ali Al Jenabi to write his story. She is a film maker and lives in Sydney. For 3 years she traveled around Australia speaking at Writers Festivals, Universities, schools, churches, libraries, corporate and community organizations & more recently at the NSW State Library. The People Smuggler is now on reading lists in schools, universities, and book clubs around the country, and being adapted to a screenplay for a feature film.
‘An astonishing story.’
- Sebastian Faulks, New York Times Book Review
‘This is a story every Australian should read . . . a complex mixture of love of family and a hard-edged determination to survive in a brutal, unforgiving world.’
- Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald
‘The adventures make Les Misérables look like plain sailing. Unforgettable.’
- The Guardian (UK)
‘The most extraordinary book. It has opened my eyes in a life-changing way.’
- Missy Higgins