Addendum to the eighth and ninth pieces in our Polity of Literature series:
Last month we reported on Behrouz Boochani and other refugees writing from the Manus and Nauru Island asylum “processing centres,” offshore of Australia. Iranian-Australian translator Moones Mansoubi wrote about working with these men and women to bring their voices into English, so they could be heard in the countries where they sought asylum and had suffered barbaric mistreatment. Her full piece can be read here. The editor of the Polity of Literature series, Matthew Stadler, wrote about Boochani’s book and other recent refugee writings. His text is here.
Last week, The New York Times published Megan K. Stack’s profile of Boochani, for which she travelled to Manus and interviewed other Manus survivors. Stack wrote an additional piece about the special difficulties posed by the Manus refugee stories: “The truth is, these men are not symbols or myths or characters of fiction. They are human beings, or they were,” Stack wrote, adding that she found she “couldn’t properly express the darkness of Manus in a simple story. It must be inferred from the people themselves, their stories and eyes; or you can read it in the book [Boochani’s No Friend But the Mountains]…” It’s a superb piece, offering important insights about the Polity of Literature, and a helpful addendum to PoL #8 and PoL #9. You can read it for free on the NYT website.