No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison

Behrouz Boochani: No Friend But the Mountains

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781760555382
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pub Date: 31/07/2018
  • Category: Biography & True Stories / Diaries, letters & journals
    Biography & True Stories / True stories
  • Imprint: Picador Australia
  • Pages: 416
  • Price: $32.99

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

In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. He has been there ever since.

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

Author Information

Behrouz Boochani graduated from Tarbiat Moallem University and Tarbiat Modares University, both in Tehran; he holds a Masters degree in political science, political geography and geopolitics. He is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, journalist, scholar, cultural advocate and filmmaker. Boochani was writer for the Kurdish language magazine Werya; is Honorary Member of PEN International; winner of an Amnesty International Australia 2017 Media Award, the Diaspora Symposium Social Justice Award, the Liberty Victoria 2018 Empty Chair Award, and the Anna Politkovskaya Award for journalism; and he is non-resident Visiting Scholar at the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC), University of Sydney. He publishes regularly with The Guardian, and his writing also features in The Saturday Paper, Huffington Post, New Matilda, The Financial Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. Boochani is also co-director (with Arash Kamali Sarvestani) of the 2017 feature-length film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time; collaborator on Nazanin Sahamizadeh's play Manus; and author of No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Picador 2018).

Translator Omid Tofighian is a lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in citizen media, rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He completed his PhD in philosophy at Leiden University and graduated with a combined Honours degree in philosophy and studies in religion at the University of Sydney. His current roles include Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo; Honorary Research Associate for the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney; faculty at Iran Academia; and campaign manager for Why Is My Curriculum White? - Australasia. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, is author of Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and translator of Behrouz Boochani's book No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador 2018).


2 August 2018

Join Writing Through Fences founder, Janet Galbraith, and translator Moones Mansoubi at the UNSW Kensington Campus, to hear them converse with Behrouz Boochani himself via Whatsapp. Special guest Martine Antle will briefly speak on exile and art. This event is presented by Live Crossings and UNSWriting. Copies of No Friend But the Mountains will be available for purchase.

6:30 PM

Io Myers Studio
UNSW Kensington Campus, 2 High Street, Kensington NSW 2052 Website

3 August 2018

Join the Fremantle Refugee Rights Action Network at the WA launch of Behrouz Boochani's new book, No Friend But the Mountains. This event will be hosted by award-winning Noongar author, Kim Scott, and include a video presentation from Boochani himself.

6:30 PM

Saga Bookshop
203 South Terrace, South Fremantle WA 6162 Website