Eliza Griswold

  • culture January 11, 2012

    Everyone Is an Immigrant

    Two paramedics, a man and a woman wearing green and blue scrubs, toss biscotti to seagulls. They glance out at the open ocean. Behind them, at the old port, their empty ambulance waits. A lone jogger, wearing a sweaty knee brace, runs around the parking lot. He, too, keeps his eyes on the Mediterranean Sea. Although he looks like a tourist, he’s probably a policeman.

    The island of Lampedusa is overrun with law enforcement types and immigration agents. Along with relief workers and journalists, leery policemen fill the tourist hotels, restaurants, and beaches. The town is a town of well-muscled

  • Village Voice

    In 1979, when Yiyun Li was six years old, a group of Chinese human rights activists posted nineteen articles on a brick wall in Tiananmen Square. No one knew how the Communist Party would respond. The Cultural Revolution had recently ended, and the constitution guaranteed freedom of speech—but only for members of the party. Everyone else remained silent or, better yet, became invisible.

    In her debut novel, The Vagrants, Li, winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the pen/Hemingway Award, returns to the story of China in the spring of ’79. She sets her tale amid the

  • Post Traumatic

    Perhaps the most romanticized figure in the world is the male war correspondent. Scruffy, haunted, he walks the wreckage alone in battered—but good—European shoes. He smokes (if he's not American). He has trouble with commitment. Yet his female counterpart cuts a different profile. At his age, she'll seem leathery and lonely. It's better that she doesn't smoke.

    According to a recent survey by the Inter­national News Safety Institute of women journalists who cover conflict, both freelance and staff writers, more than half were single, separated, or divorced. Some 82 percent had been attacked