LINES IN THE SAND: COLLECTED JOURNALISM by A. A. Gill, Hachette.
A. A. Gill was not the obvious choice to cover humanitarian disasters. Early on, an editor implored him not to go to a famine in South Sudan, saying sending a food critic “was just bad taste”. But this sophisticated, debonair man, who died last December, had a depth of compassion, clear-sightedness and a talent for putting his observations in writing. A chief of police in Greece is “a fat, incandescent bully who stomps around screaming, shoving and jabbing at the refugees”, who placate him “like small grandparents calming a huge, hysterical toddler”. It’s rare we see refugees as individuals, but in Lines in the Sand they’re never a mass of faceless humanity. A powerful book that demands to be read.