This is the book about immigration detention that all Australians need to read.
During the time of the Gillard government, 24-year-old Sydneysider Adele Dumont accepted a volunteer position to teach English to men in immigration detention on Christmas Island. She did not expect to find the work so rewarding or the people she met so interesting. When she was offered a job working at Curtin detention centre near Derby in Western Australia, she took it.
Working at Curtin required her to live a fly-in fly-out lifestyle, feeling never quite settled in one place or the other. She lived in a donga when she was in WA, her life full of bus trips to the detention centre and the work she did there; back home in Sydney, she was overwhelmed by the choices people had and the things they didn't do with those choices. What kept her returning to Curtin were her students: men from many lands who had sacrificed all they knew for a chance to live in Australia; men who were unfailingly polite to her in a situation that was barbarous. Slowly, falteringly, these men learned her language and taught her things about their culture.
No Man is an Island is the story that will make the issue of immigration detention accessible to far more interested Australians than any number of stern newspaper articles. It is a vividly told story that is full of characters and humanity. It is the story about immigration detention that all Australians need to read.