WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY PRIZE FOR LITERATURE AND FOR NON-FICTION 2019
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.
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?
WINNER OF THE NSW PREMIER'S AWARD 2019
WINNER OF THE ABIA GENERAL NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY AWARD 2019
INAUGURAL WINNER OF THE BEHROUZ BOOCHANI AWARD FOR SERVICES TO ANTHROPOLOGY
FINALIST FOR THE TERZANI PRIZE 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE COLIN RODERICK LITERARY AWARD 2019
PRAISE FOR NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAINS
'Our government jailed his body, but his soul remained that of a free man.' RICHARD FLANAGAN
'The most important Australian book published in 2018.' ROBERT MANNE
'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 poetic, yet harrowing read, and every Australian household should have a copy.' MAXINE BENEBA CLARKE
'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
'A shattering book every Australian should read' Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw 01/02/2019)
'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
'He immerses the reader in Manus' everyday horrors: the boredom, frustration, violence, obsession and hunger; the petty bureaucratic bullying and the wholesale nastiness; the tragedies and the soul-destroying hopelessness. Its creation was an almost unimaginable task... will lodge deep in the brain of anyone who reads it.' Herald Sun
'Boochani has defied and defeated the best efforts of Australian governments to deny asylum seekers a face and a voice. And what a voice: poetic yet unsentimental, acerbic yet compassionate, sorrowful but never self-indulgent, reflective and considered even in anger and despair. ... It may well stand as one of the most important books published in Australia in two decades, the period of time during which our refugee policies have hardened into shape - and hardened our hearts in the process.' SATURDAY PAPER
'An essential historical document.' Weekend Australian
'In the absence of images, turn to this book to fathom what we have done, what we continue to do. It is, put simply, the most extraordinary and important book I have ever read.' Good Reading Magazine (starred review)
'Brilliant writing. Brilliant thinking. Brilliant courage.' Professor Marcia Langton AM (@marcialangton 01/02/2019)
'Segues effortlessly between prose and poetry, both equally powerful.' Australian Financial Review
'Boochani has woven his own experiences in to a tale which is at once beautiful and harrowing, creating a valuable contribution to Australia's literary canon.' Writing NSW
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Taken into custody after fleeing his native Iran, the poet and journalist Behrouz Boochani offers up a harrowing account of his ongoing imprisonment on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. He brings Australia’s refugee crisis into sharp focus, putting names and faces to Australia’s shameful illegal detention of asylum seekers. Boochani's riveting tale of endurance in the face of extreme injustice and oppression is interspersed with dreamy threads of poetry. Perhaps most incredible is how No Friend but the Mountains was written—via text messages conveyed in secret and translated from Farsi.
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Thank you for telling your story
This book was such an eye opener for me and it is horrible how these refugees are treated. I hope times are changing and a new life for all who have suffered in these prisons