Author(s): Emma-Jane Kirby
The Optician of Lampedusa lives a quiet life with his wife on a remote Mediterranean island. He has seen the headlines about shipwrecked migrants, noticed the reception centre, even crossed paths with the occasional lost soul. Yet it is only when, one sunny October morning, a relaxing boat trip with friends unexpectedly turns into a heartbreaking rescue mission, that he truly comes face to face with the human tragedy unfolding on his doorstep - and on all of our doorsteps
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2016.
Deeply moving... this is a tale of transformation, of a man just like you and me. Journal du Dimanche A heartfelt story ... at once horrifying and comforting Le Soir A book that can be devoured as if it were a novel, but in which everything is true. Le Parisien With skill and composure that marks it as a work of literature rather than a journalistic report, Emma-Jane Kirby explores closely the innermost upheaval of one human being faced with the tragedy of another: the cause of such suffering is born of guilt, but also of a sense of humanity born of uncontrollable empathy. La Croix A shock to the system, it forces us to think... the optician is an ordinary man, no better no worse than us. France 2
Emma-Jane Kirby is a radio journalist who has reported extensively on international affairs, from Brussels to Afghanistan. She won the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents for her report 'The Optician of Lampedusa', on which this book is based.