Photo of a man looking into the distance with waves as a background. The title "Escape from Manus Prison: One Man's Daring Quest for Freedom" is written alternating between blue and white going down the page. The author's name "Jaivet Ealom" is written at the bottom. Above his name is a quote that says "All the taught propulsion of a thriller, yet devastatingly,  this is a story all too real." Below that is says "Camilla Gibb bestselling author of Sweetness in the Belly and The Relatives.

Escape from Manus Prison

Photo of a man looking into the distance with waves as a background. The title "Escape from Manus Prison: One Man's Daring Quest for Freedom" is written alternating between blue and white going down the page. The author's name "Jaivet Ealom" is written at the bottom. Above his name is a quote that says "All the taught propulsion of a thriller, yet devastatingly,  this is a story all too real." Below that is says "Camilla Gibb bestselling author of Sweetness in the Belly and The Relatives.

Cover of “Escape from Manus Prison: One Man’s Daring Quest for Freedom” by Jaivet Ealom. 2023 Heritage Toronto Book Award nominee. Cover designed by Talia Abramson.

Author: Jaivet Ealom

Publisher: Viking, Penguin Random House Canada

In 2013, Jaivet Ealom fled Myanmar’s brutal regime, where Rohingya like him were being persecuted and killed, and boarded a boat of asylum seekers bound for Australia. Instead of finding refuge, he was transported to Australia’s infamous Manus Regional Processing Centre.

Blistering hot days spent in shipping containers on the island melted into weeks, then years . . . until, finally, facing either jail in Papua New Guinea or being returned to almost certain death in Myanmar, he took matters into his own hands. Drawing inspiration from the hit show Prison Break, Jaivet meticulously planned his escape. He made it out alive but was stateless, with no ID or passport. While the nightmare of Manus was behind him, his true escape to freedom had only just begun.

How Jaivet made it to sanctuary in Canada in a six-month-long odyssey by foot, boat, car, and plane, with nothing but his instinct for survival, is miraculous. His story will astonish, anger and inspire you. It will make you reassess what it means to give refuge and redefine what can be achieved by one man determined to beat the odds.


About the Author:

Jaivet Ealom was born in Myanmar and now resides in Toronto, where he has become a prominent spokesperson for the Rohingya community. He is a member of the Refugee Advisory Network of Canada and is on the leadership team of the Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative. In his roles as co-founder of the Rohingya Centre of Canada as well as Northern Lights Canada he aims to help some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. Jaivet is studying at the University of Toronto and works for NeedsList, a company that promotes the use of technology to help displaced peoples bypass institutional barriers.