Hsiao-Hung Pai; BORDERED LIVES; New Internationalist (Nonfiction: Political Science) 16.95 ISBN: 9781780264387
Byline: Susan Waggoner
In Bordered Lives, activist and journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai surveys Western Europe's refugee camps -- primarily in Italy, Britain, France, and Germany -- and those seeking asylum there. Many interviews with refugees are included, and the book gives an admirably complete picture of what it's like to be a displaced person in the new diaspora. The overview is sometimes compelling and sometimes overly strident, but always interesting.
The book is effective when it factually depicts the conditions of various European refugee camps, and is even more effective when refugees describe their day-to-day lives in their own words.
Individual stories cast light on issues outsiders might not think of -- for example, the fact that many refugees arrive with some degree of PTSD, or the mismatch between refugees' expectations and the actualities of camp life. Refugee stories also contain details that suggest possible solutions: since time spent waiting in camps is lengthy, could resources be deployed to help...