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 pair of spouses who feel like strangers in the wake of a terrible betrayal. Ann Patchett rediscovers the nun who taught her how to read and write -- just as her old teacher is about to live alone for the first time in her life. Paul Theroux recalls bearing witness to nineteen violent years in London. Julie Otsuka offers up a haunting tale of mail-order brides making their way from Japan to California. And we introduce Chris Dennis, a dynamic young writer who tells the tale of a young high school teacher who gets busted on a drug charge and winds up in jail with a "Rasputin-like" cellmate.
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