SOUGHT-after speaker and award-winning author Robin de Crespigny is coming to Coffs Harbour.
The author of The People Smuggler will be speaking at Coffs City Library on July 23.
Talking about her famed book from 5.30pm that day, de Crespigny will be discussing the tale of one man's epic struggle to bring his family to safety in Australia.
'The People Smuggler' was originally conceived as a film script of the life of Iraqi refugee Ali Al Jenabi, but the sheer scale of his journey - with its uprisings, repressions, military conflicts and imprisonments, desperate escapes from Saddam Hussein's Iraq via mountain treks, six countries and ships on the high seas, to his trial and jail in Darwin, detention in Villawood and a personal life of family, loves, and losses - saw Robin realise that a book would serve this story better.
"Ali Al Jenabi's story was such an extraordinary yet accessible human drama, both deeply moving and thought provoking, which allowed me to write about the plight of refugees from their point of view," de Crespigny said.
"But in truth, it was Ali himself who fascinated me.
"He is a unique individual and despite surviving the most horrendous circumstances under Saddam Hussein, he remains a warm, charming, insightful man with high moral standards and a great sense of humour."