First there was the traveller; then the word was emigrants. In America, they turned into immigrants. And today -- in many parts of the world -- they are (we are) aliens. From somewhere else. At odds with and yet fully inside of another culture. At home nowhere.
This new issue of Granta features tales from the constantly shifting terrain of alien culture. Mark Gevisser writes of two closeted gay South African men, whose friendship has lasted five decades, dating back to a regime determined to keep black and white apart.
Dinaw Mengestu writes of a war being waged in the Congo by exiles managing it from afar in France. Robert Macfarlane goes for a walk in Palestine, and meets families who can no longer return to their own homes. Nami Mun conjures a couple who feel like strangers in the wake of a terrible betrayal.
Whether it's the closely observed ecology of marriage life or the violent acts of criminals, this issue of Granta will draw into focus one of the most pressing issues of our time: Who do we call outsiders?