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The Third Wave

September 20, 2011

The Third Wave: A Volunteer’s Story is a gripping memoir about one filmmaker’s effort to rebuild the infrastructure of a small coastal town in Sri Lanka after a devastating 9.3-magnitude earthquake hit South Asia in late 2004. Alison Thompson writes of her fourteen month experience in Sri Lanka, beginning with few volunteers and limited medical supplies and resulting in the establishment of the first tsunami early-warning center, which still functions today. Thompson inspires readers by crafting the blueprints to help those in need and highlights the vitality in recognizing one’s call to action.

“The powerful takeaway of this distinct and heartfelt memoir is that saving and rebuilding lives is not the work of superheroes. ‘Volunteering can happen anywhere at any time and can last for just an hour,’ Thompson writes, later imploring readers to ‘[b]e the brightest light you can be and lead the way in the dark.’ The book vividly epitomizes the Talmudic saying that while one may not be able to finish a huge and ambitious task, it does not mean one should not try.” – The Boston Globe

“In a world of turmoil, The Third Wave is a welcome and inspiring account of what one woman and her friends can accomplish against the greatest odds. Ride this wave and feel better about the generation ready to lead us all ashore.” — Tom Brokaw

“Alison Thompson’s captivating life story and adventures in volunteering make us all want to be better citizens of our planet. We can all contribute, she fearlessly tells us, not just with her soaring words with even more with her inspiring actions.” — Edwidge Danticat

Alison Thompson is an Australian filmmaker and humanitarian volunteer. Her documentary film on The Third Wave premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007 and received a special Presidential Screening at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Thompson has received an Order of Australia Medal for her volunteer work around the world.

The Third Wave is now available at Barnes & Noble,, and your local indie bookstore.

– Katarina Manos

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