Charlotte McDonald-Gibson | Granta

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

CHARLOTTE MCDONALD-GIBSON is an author, journalist and public commentator with 20 years’ experience reporting from three continents for the international media. Her first book, Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis (Granta, 2016), was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and her writing has appeared in publications including TIME, the New York Times, the Independent, the Guardian, Newsweek and the Irish Times.

Coming soon - February 2023

Far Out

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

What makes an extremist? From obscure cults to revolutionary movements, people have always been seduced by fringe beliefs. And in today’s deeply divided world, more people than ever are drawn to polarising ideologies. All too often we simply condemn those whose positions offend us, instead of trying to understand what draws people to the far edges of society — and what can pull them back again.

In Far Out, we meet eight people from across religious, ideological, and national divides who found themselves drawn to radical beliefs, including a young man who became the face of white supremacy in Trump-era America, a Norwegian woman sucked into a revolutionary conspiracy in the 1980s, a schoolboy who left Britain to fight in Syria, and an Australian from the far-left Antifa movement.

By immersing us in their stories, McDonald-Gibson challenges our ideas of who or what an extremist is, and shows us not only what we can do to prevent extremism in the future, but how we can start healing the rifts in our world today.

Publications

Cast Away

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

Translated by

Riot police are shutting down borders, 800 lives are lost in a single shipwreck, a boy’s body washes up on a beach: this is the European Union in summer 2015. But how did a bloc founded upon the values of human rights and dignity for all reach this point? And what was driving millions of desperate people to risk their lives on the Mediterranean? Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has spent years reporting on every aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis, and Cast Away offers a vivid glimpse of the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines.

We meet Majid, a Nigerian boy who exchanges the violence of his homeland for Libya, only to be driven onto a rickety boat during Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on migrants. Nart is an idealistic young lawyer who risks imprisonment and torture in Syria until it is no longer safe for him to stay. Sina has to leave her new husband behind and take their unborn son across three continents to try and escape the Eritrean dictatorship. Mohammed is a teenager who dreams of becoming the world’s best electrician until he is called to serve as a foot-soldier in the Syrian army. And Hanan watches in horror as the safe life she built for her four children in Damascus collapses, and she has to entrust their lives to people smugglers.

While the politicians wrangle over responsibility, and the media talk in statistics, Cast Away brings to life the human consequences of the most urgent humanitarian issue of our time.