Synopses & Reviews
Some travel is vital to the traveller. Sometimes you need to get home or get away. Sometimes this is far from easy. This issue of Granta contains compelling stories about journeys which needed to be made. You might call it necessary travel writing.
Ian McEwan's powerful piece of fiction, taken from his new novel-in-progress which is not scheduled for publication until 2002: a gripping account of unpatriotic events on the beach at Dunkirk in 1940.
Simon Winchester in Diego Garcia on the story of how all the original inhabitants of this tiny tropical island -- right down to the dogs -- were expelled by London and Washington.
John Ryle in Addis Ababa to witness the exhumation and state funeral of the world's chief Rastafari, Haile Selassie, ex-Emperor of Ethiopia.
Francis Spufford on the rise and fall of Concorde.
Ian Jack rides the British railway network, and finds out why trains crash.
Isobel Hilton's trip through China's new cultural landscape.
Nicholas Shakespeare is bitten by the biography bug again, in Tasmania - this time in search of his own unlikely ancestors.
Plus: in an astonishing piece of detective work. James Campbell succeeds in getting the FBI to release dog-eared original documents and handfuls of smudged photographs testifying to their decades-old pursuit of American writer James Baldwin.
Travel is no longer a luxury and not always an entertainment. Many journeys need to be made‹to get home or away from an enemy, to work, to find a last resting place, or because someone has told you to go. This issue of Granta is about such journeys; you might call it necessary travel writing, with Decca Aitkenhead: looking for cheap sex and drugs; Manuel Bauer: a child¹s escape over the Himalayas; Isabel Hilton: what have they done to Beijing?; Ian Jack: the train crash that stopped Britain; Ryszrd Kapuscinski: in the forests of Cameroon; Ian McEwan: on the retreat to Dunkirk, 1940; John Ryle: the last Emperor makes his last journey; Dayanita Singh: inside a sanctuary for girls in Benares; Simon Winchester: how Britain and the US made a people homeless; plus the untold story of how the FBI pursued James Baldwin at home, revealed by James Campbell. Granta is the paperback magazine of new writing. Every issue features the best new fiction, reportage, memoir and photography, generally collected under a theme.