I really can't write a review of this book that could possibly do it any justice, other to say that anyone with half a thinking brain who lives in Australia (primarily), and New Zealand (only because it is the next landfall after Australia) should read it. The following link is by a reviewer (Australian) for The Guardian newspaper, and it says everything that I want to say, but so much better. I urge you to read it.
Other than the Aboriginies in Australia, every single person who lives in the countries of New Zealand and Australia migrated to these islands. The asylum seekers who are the subject of this anthology of writings are also seeking a better life. Their much publicised fates once, that is if, they reach the shores of Australia would make most of them wonder why they even bothered. All the contributors are well known Australian writers, with the exception of one who is well known in New Zealand, and they write a mix of fiction, poems and non-fiction mostly from the perpectives of the refugees themselves - men, women and children. There are also a few writers who have written stories from their own family history which, although not about the asylum seeker/boat people we see nowadays, are every bit as relevant as the current hopefuls.
This is a problem that will not go away. Australians burying their NIMBY heads in the sand are going to be creating more troubles for themselves. After all how hard can it be for a country of 23 million to treat with dignity and compassion a few thousand desperate migrants a year.