This introduction to a forum of essays on Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison situates the book as a work of life writing and political theory, arguing it is a landmark moment in the evolution of life writing as a cultural, social, political, and epistemological practice. It introduces the essays that make up the forum, and situates Boochani’s text as a direct challenge to the genre of refugee memoir and its privatizing modes of reading.