Walls : Travels Along the Barricades

3.87 (214 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


Winner of the 2013 City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize
Winner of the 2013 Wilfred Eggleston Prize for Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2013 British Columbia National Award for Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Award
Named to The Globe and the Mail's List of the Top 100 Books of 2012 What does it mean to live against a wall? In this ambitious first person narrative, Marcello Di Cintio travels to the world's most disputed edges to meet the people who live alongside the razor wire, concrete, and steel and how the structure of the walls has influenced their lives. Di Cintio shares tea with Saharan refugees on the wrong side of Morocco's desert wall. He meets with illegal Punjabi migrants who have circumvented the fencing around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. He visits fenced-in villages in northeast India, walks Arizona's migrant trails, and travels to Palestinian villages to witness the protests against Israel's security barrier. From Native American reservations on the U.S.-Mexico border and the "Great Wall of Montreal" to Cyprus's divided capital and the Peace Lines of Belfast, Di Cintio seeks to understand what these structures say about those who build them and how they influence the cultures that they pen in. He learns that while every wall fails to accomplish what it was erected to achieve - the walls are never solutions - each wall succeeds at something else. Some walls define Us from Them with Medieval clarity. Some walls encourage fear or feed hate. Some walls steal. Others kill. And every wall inspires its own subversion, either by the infiltrators who dare to go over, under, or around them, or by the artists who transform them.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 287 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 23mm | 340g
  • Shoemaker & Hoard, Div of Avalon Publishing Group Inc
  • Berkeley, United States
  • English
  • 159376524X
  • 9781593765248
  • 663,133

Review quote

"This is a remarkable book, and Di Cintio is a thoroughly engaged - and engaging - traveler and wordsmith...The walls Di Cintio visits show no signs of coming down, but the underlying human spirit - the small, defiant hopes and everyday heroism of the people faced with these barriers, and the communities along them that refuse to be cleaved - is, in its own strange way, uplifitng." --2012 Giller Prize Winner Will Ferguson, The Globe and Mail
"Di Cintio immerses himself in his chosen locations, providing historical background and rich reportage of the many social and political realities of being walled in (or out). What emerges is a collection of interrelated vignettes full of dense description and fascinating characters that vive the reader a true sense of place...it is a deeply humane, honest, and even cautious account of an outsider who seeks as much as possible to understand local contexts." --Quill and Quire (starred review)
"Marcello Di Cintio is one of the best travel writers of his generation. In Walls, he tells compelling and engrossing stories with his customary mix of vivid detail, a strong sense of history, a lovely sense of humor and, above all, a fascination with the human race in all its contradictions." --Margaret MacMillan, bestselling author of Dangerous Games, Nixon and Mao, and Paris 1919 and Warden of St Antony's College, Oxford University
"I've never bought the divisive notion that good fences make for good neighbors. But one thing's for sure: Walls make for great stories--something Marcello di Cintio richly demonstrates in this energetically researched and beautifully recounted work of reportage." --Taras Grescoe, author of Straphanger and Bottomfeeder
"Di Cintio explores eight political hot spots - zones where walls split terrain, people and minds. With admirable legwork and vivid prose, he discovers that these walls and the communities living along both sides of them are sights of fear, illness and suspicion, but a
show more

About Marcello Di Cintio

Marcello DiCintio has enjoyed stints abroad in West Africa, North Africa, India, and the Middle East. His most recent book, "Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran," was published by Knopf Canada; it won the Wilfred Eggleston Prize for Best Non-Fiction and was praised by the "Calgary Herald" as "graceful and sympathetic...finely balanced...beautifully written and uplifted by the author's agreeable personality...not to be missed." He is also the author of "Harmattan: Wind Across West Africa," which won the Henry Kriesel Award for Best First Book. He has also written for numerous magazines and journals, including "The Walrus, EnRoute, Geist, Reader's Digest, Afar," and "The Globe and Mail."
show more

Rating details

214 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 24% (52)
4 46% (98)
3 24% (51)
2 5% (11)
1 1% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X