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I'm writing on behalf of Robin De Crespigny, author of the newly-released Penguin title, The People Smuggler, to inquire about the possibility of hosting an event or events with Robin at your Rotary Clubs.

The People Smuggler was recently awarded the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction and has been long-listed for the Walkley award for non-fiction.

Robin is a Sydney-based writer and she is available for breakfast, lunch time or evening meetings in December 2013, January and early February.

The book has attracted a lot of attention because of the topicality of the subject matter. It tells the true story of an Iraqi refugee, Ali Al Jenabi, who became a people smuggler to save his family and ultimately came to be seen, not as a heinous criminal as the government had hoped, but as the "Oskar Schindler of Asia".

When the Publishing Director at Penguin first read The People Smuggler he wrote, "This book has a great chance of reaching a broad, popular audience, as a kind of non-fiction moral thriller. It also has the chance to change the terms of our national debate about refugees."

Central to the book is the question of whether this man is a savoir or a criminal (as quoted on the cover by Thomas Keneally), and never fails to generate a vigorous discussion. The book makes no judgment, it simply tells the extraordinary epic tale of a remarkable man, leaving it open for the reader to ask themselves what they would do in the same situation.

The book has had extensive media coverage, including over 30 radio and TV interviews and a Good Weekend feature. Launched at the Sydney Writers Festival, it was followed by an 'in conversation' with Heather Ewart at the Sydney Theatre with an audience of around 400.

Robin usually speaks about the story, how, when and why she came to the project, her writing process, and how she worked with Ali (him an Arab Muslim man, her a white Western woman) intercepted with readings, then open up for a Q&A. She also brings along books to sign and sell if appropriate. It usually runs for an hour but it can easily be adjusted to longer or shorter. Robin has now done scores of such meetings successfully at Libraries, Rotary Clubs and other locations since the book was released.

I have attached a press release, Robin's biog, brag sheet, and a review with some more information.

We also post the events on our web site,, to assist with publicity. The site also has much information about the book.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Amy Thomas
Events Co-ordinator for The People Smuggler
ph: 0430 554 263