A Map of Future Ruins: On Borders and Belonging (Hardcover)

A Map of Future Ruins: On Borders and Belonging By Lauren Markham Cover Image
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Description


“This stunning meditation on nostalgia, heritage, and compassion asks us to dismantle the stories we’ve been told—and told ourselves—in order to naturalize the forms of injustice we’ve come to understand as order.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
 
When and how did migration become a crime? Why does ancient Greece remain so important to the West’s idea of itself? How does nostalgia fuel the exclusion and demonization of migrants today?
     In 2021, Lauren Markham went to Greece, in search of her own Greek heritage and to cover the aftermath of a fire that burned down the largest refugee camp in Europe. Almost no one had wanted the camp—not activists, not the country’s growing neo-fascist movement, not even the government. But almost immediately, on scant evidence, six young Afghan refugees were arrested for the crime.
Markham soon saw that she was tracing a broader narrative, rooted not only in centuries of global history but also in myth. A mesmerizing, trailblazing synthesis of reporting, history, memoir, and essay, A Map of Future Ruins helps us see that the stories we tell about migration don’t just explain what happened. They are oracles: they predict the future.

About the Author


Lauren Markham is the author of the award-winning The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. She has been working with migrants for two decades and has written about migration and other social issues in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. She lives in Berkeley, CA.

Praise For…


Praise for A Map of Future Ruins:

“An expansive meditation on the roles of myth and politics in the stories we construct about our origins.” —New York Times

“Strange and intriguing. . . . Markham’s approach suggests that. . . . sometimes, rather than asking migrants to explain themselves, we, in the countries they are trying so desperately to reach, should be trying a little harder to explain ourselves.” —Washington Post

“A feat of reconstructive reportage, poetically written.”—The Atlantic

“Stunning. . . .  the most expansive contribution to border literature I have yet to read. . . . As projects go, it is the intellectual equivalent of a minefield—but Markham proves admiringly nimble on her Converse-clad feet.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[A] finely woven meditation on ‘belonging, exclusion, and whiteness.’” —The New Yorker

“A remarkable, unnerving, and cautionary portrait of a global immigration crisis.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Blends memoir, history, and reportage in a wide-ranging and unflinching account. . . . Into this heart-wrenching drama. . . . Markham interweaves ruminations on Greece’s twin crises of immigration and emigration. . . . Interspersed throughout are powerful ruminations on ancient Greece as the birthplace of classical Western ideals and the myth-making process inherent to all migration stories. Readers will be thoroughly engrossed.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“In this brilliant, timely meditation, Markham explores how the stories we tell about borders and who belongs can harden our hearts or help to open them. The threads she follows weave a tapestry as moving as it is illuminating.” —Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark and A Field Guide to Getting Lost
 
“This stunning meditation on nostalgia, heritage, and compassion asks us to dismantle the stories we’ve been told—and told ourselves—in order to naturalize the forms of injustice we’ve come to understand as order.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

“A masterpiece of narrative journalism. A Map of Future Ruins is a story of two crises: the current refugee crisis affecting the Greek islands and the long-overlooked identity crisis within White America, whose preoccupation with ‘Western culture’ as an origin myth she traces both expansively and intimately.” —Aminatta Forna, author of Happiness and The Memory of Love
 
“Pushes beyond the news to interrogate the collective myths we tell ourselves about community, belonging, and the lives of immigrants.” —Jonathan Blitzer, author of Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here

“Luminous and expansive ... Markham shows us what we most urgently need to see.” —Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree and The Man Who Could Move Clouds

“Meticulous and exuberant, this is a journalist’s wayfinding journey to map a truthful account of the current refugee crisis.” –Thi Bui, author of The Best We Could Do
 
“A masterful, multilayered story by a writer with a sharp, questioning mind and a big heart.”  —Adam Hochschild, author of American Midnight and King Leopold’s Ghost


Product Details
ISBN: 9780593545577
ISBN-10: 0593545575
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English