'Our government jailed his body, but his soul remained that of a free man.' Richard Flanagan 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 six years of incarceration and exile. Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains?
Written in secrecy on a contraband mobile phone from Manus detention centre by journalist Behrouz Boochani, No Friend but the Mountains became the bestselling, award-winning book of 2018.
At the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2019 this book won the Victorian Prize for Literature in addition to the Non-Fiction category. It has also won the Special Award at the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards; Non-Fiction Book of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards; and the National Biography Prize.
PRAISE FOR NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAINS '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'An essential historical document.'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.