Earlier this week the Age published a piece by Arnold Zable on the horrors of refugee detention on Manus Island.
Arnold Zable is a passionate advocate for human rights and is the immediate past president of PEN Melbourne. He is also a wonderful writer and Text is the proud publisher of five of his books, including the powerful non-fiction collection Violin Lessons. In Violin Lessons, Arnold Zable takes the reader on an intimate journey into the lives of people he met on travels over the last forty years.
They are tales of hardship, of yearning and of celebration from around the world, that ultimately lead us back to Melbourne and the extraordinary story of Amal—her flight from Iraq, her fears boarding the unseaworthy boat Australians would come to know as SIEV X, her night spent clinging to a corpse alone in the sea, and her desire to have her story told.
‘Maybe this is why I am alive,’ Amal says, ‘to tell the story of the people who sank in the ocean.’
Arnold has allowed us to reproduce the heartbreaking story here. Click through to read Amal’s story, ‘The Ancient Mariner’.