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The Optician of Lampedusa Hardcover – 29 Sep 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (29 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241295289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241295281
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 1.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Poetically written, absorbing, harrowing . . . a moving and unusual achievement (Fiona Wilson The Times)

An important book. . . I cried all the way through (Tracy Chevalier)

An ambitious and important book that goes far beyond the voyeurism of 24-hour news to identify something timeless and troubling... a moral tale, following events through the eyes of the fastidiously ordinary optician never named in the text and thereby transformed into an everyman . . . Emma Jane Kirby challenges us to do more than cry. (Peter Stanford Observer)

A novelistic retelling of a man's tragic encounter with the European migrant crisis - a true story that brings a fresh perspective to events that are often hard to visualise. (Melissa Lawford Financial Times)

An eloquent, extraordinary story for our times (Tablet, Book of the Year)

A moving insight (Financial Times, Book of the Year)

A book that can be devoured as if it were a novel, but in which everything is true. (Le Parisien)

A heartfelt story . . . at once horrifying and comforting (Le Soir)

Deeply moving. . . this is a tale of transformation, of a man just like you and me. (Journal du Dimanche)

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)

About the Author

Emma-Jane Kirby is a broadcast 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.

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6 December 2016
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12 September 2017
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4 February 2017
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14 December 2016
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28 September 2017
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20 October 2016
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