Michael McGirr reviews 'The Fighter' by Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable may be unafraid of pain, but he is no masochist. Masochism wants to control pain: Zable is much more of a liberator. Since the publication of his first book, Jewels and Ashes (1991), Zable has embraced profound stories of struggling people with honesty and wisdom. Zable has been a servant of those stories, never trying to smother them with his own voice or bury them under fancy theories. He has enabled people to speak who may never otherwise have been heard. Take, for example, these bald opening lines from a recent piece of Zable's journalism about an asylum seeker on Manus Island. For Zable, the general issue of detention is first and foremost about real people:

His name is Behrouz Boochani. He was born in Ilam city in west Iran on July 23, 1983. He graduated from Tarbiat Madares University in Tehran with a masters degree in political geography and geopolitics. He worked as a freelance journalist and for several Iranian newspapers – Kasbokar Weekly, Qanoon, Etemaad – and the Iranian Sports Agency. He published articles on Middle East politics and interviews with the Kurdish elite in Tehran.
Boochani's passions are human rights and the survival of Kurdish culture ...

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