Majid was 14 when he was forced to flee Nigeria after his father was killed in sectarian violence, and found himself trapped in a life of slavery.
Sina escaped the military regime in Eritrea when she was six months pregnant, desperate to find a safe life for her unborn son.
Charlotte McDonald-Gibson's first book, Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe's Refugee Crisis, was published by Granta in 2016. It follows the fates of five individuals fleeing war and persecution, offering a vivid glimpse into the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines. Critically-acclaimed, Cast Away was nominated for four awards including the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Her second book, Far Out: Encounters with Extremists, will be published by Granta in Spring 2022. It tells the stories of eight people from across religious, ideological, and national divides who found themselves drawn to radical beliefs. By immersing us in their stories, Far Out challenges our ideas of who or what an extremist is, and examines how we prevent extremism in the future and start healing the rifts in our world today.
REVIEWS FOR CAST AWAY
Gripping storytelling. McDonald-Gibson balances individual stories with a wider historical sweep and offers insights into the extraordinary political and historical contexts of the migrants' home countries... [One of] the most important books you will read this year'
The Irish Times
A closely reported, passionately argued, often deeply moving account of five refugees' journeys to Europe... Cast Away starts to do for the refugees what British abolitionists did for the slave trade... mobilise eyewitness testimony to promote empathy, and through empathy, better policy'
Book of the Week
McDonald-Gibson keenly evokes the hell of their voyages... To read these vivid stories is to understand not just the enormity of what is taking place, but the courage and desperation of those who embark on them'
The New Statesman