Lights In The Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe (Hardback)Daniel Trilling (author)
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'Brilliantly researched and written' Observer
A mother who puts her children into a refrigerated lorry and asks, `What else could I do?' A runaway teenager who comes of age on the streets and in abandoned buildings. A student who leaves his war ravaged country behind because he doesn't want to kill. Each of the thousands of people who come to Europe in search of asylum every year brings with them a unique experience. But their stories don't end there.
In Lights in the Distance, journalist Daniel Trilling draws on years of reporting to build a portrait of the refugee crisis, seen through the eyes of the people who experienced it first-hand. As the European Union has grown, so has a tangled and often violent system designed to filter out unwanted migrants - one that extends from the border into cities. Most of us became aware of the crisis when it apparently reached its peak in 2015, but the roots go much deeper. Visiting camps and hostels, sneaking into detention centres and delving into his own family's history of displacement, Trilling weaves together the stories of people he met and followed from country to country. In doing so, he shows that the terms commonly used to define them - refugee or economic migrant, legal or illegal, deserving or undeserving - fall woefully short of capturing the complex realities.
The founding myth of the EU is that it exists to ensure that the horrors of the twentieth century are never repeated. Now, as it comes to terms with its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, the `European values' of freedom, tolerance and respect for human rights are being put to the test. Lights in the Distance is a uniquely powerful and illuminating exploration of the nature and human dimensions of the crisis.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 436 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 32 mm
Brilliantly researched and written Lights in the Distance is, above all, a book of witness . . . Trilling [brings] his reader as close as possible to the actual circumstances of those who have found their way to Calais, or to Catania in Sicily or to London or to Athens, only to find themselves condemned to occupy space, rather than live. * Observer *
By treating his subjects as fully conscious individuals rather than as a mass of victims without agency (often the flip side of the perception of the refugee as alien threat), Trilling brings human detail - individuality - into focus. * Times Literary Supplement *
A compelling account of the individual stories of refugees on the move . . . Its driving characters are nine migrants, and the book is almost entirely dedicated to their personal stories. In a terse and powerful introduction and afterword, the author's mastery of the details of his subject shines through. * Financial Times *
Subtle but effective . . . This is what makes Lights in the Distance such a powerful book. In the midst of an escalating crisis, Trilling manages to keep his lens focused tightly on the people who are most intimately affected by the geopolitical catastrophe taking place around them. * Irish Times *
Humane and illuminating, Lights in the Distance is a vital examination of what the new era of border control and deportations really means, what it costs, and who pays the price. -- Olivia Laing
Combining forensic enquiry with moral passion, Daniel Trilling has emerged as one of our most intrepid and resourceful reporters. In Lights in the Distance, he illuminates the vast human tragedy behind newspaper headlines about refugees, forcing us to confront Europe's legacy of imperialism and nationalism. -- Pankaj Mishra
An engrossing account of refugees is a book to read for anyone who takes the biggest moral question of our age seriously. Trilling`s journalistic skill once again shines in this reportage. -- Ece Temelkuran
A deeply moving and much needed reminder of the human tales which are so often obscured by political rhetoric on migration. -- Fatima Manji, Channel 4 News