In just three days and 285 pages I travelled to the Western Sahara, the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, Israel, Palestine, India, Bangladesh, the Arizona borderland, Belfast and Montreal, in Marcello Di Cintio’s Walls: Travels Along the Barricades (Goose Lane).
In introducing some of the world’s most volatile man-made borders, Di Cintio unearths the human preoccupation with erecting walls and what they mean for the people who live alongside them. He traverses the complex histories and incredible stories of people who hold fast to hope on both sides of walls, challenging the well-known maxim that good fences make good neighbours.
A perfect mix of fact and vivid first-person narrative leaves you feeling that you’ve witnessed death-defying acts of bravery, and fallen ill with Wall Disease. Di Cintio also reminds us that Canada is not without its own history of drawing lines to separate here from there, and us from them.
Walls is a humanizing history of the world’s barricades that we need now more than ever.
Two essays published in Geist, “The Great Wall of Montreal” (No. 82) and “Wall of Shame” (No. 74), both posted at geist.com, became part of Walls.