The Passenger collects the best new writing, photography, and reportage from around the world. Its aim, to break down barriers and introduce the essence of the place. Packed with essays and investigative journalism; original photography and illustrations; charts, and unusual facts and observations, each volume offers a unique insight into a different culture, and how history has shaped the place into what it is today.
Brimming with intricate research and enduring wonder, The Passenger is a love-letter to global travel.
Murals commemorating key events during the Troubles in the Bogside, a republican neighbourhood in west Derry/Londonderry, the scene of serious clashes in the early days of the conflict.
(Photo by Kenneth O Halloran)
Going beyond familiar stereotypes, each volume portrays the shifting culture and identity of a place, the sensibilities of its people, its burning issues, conflicts, and open wounds.
In The Passenger, original pieces and essential previously published essays are combined with inventive infographics, illustrations, book and film recommendations, a section of “false myths debunked,” a country-specific Spotify playlist, and—thanks to a collaboration with Prospekt—original photo essays by internationally renowned photographers.
A demonstration in Sunnyvale outside the building where the annual general meeting of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was taking place. Workers and activists were protesting over a series of issues, including contractors’ rights and the tech giant’s activities in China.
(Photo by Josh Edelson)
Printed on optimum quality paper and beautifully designed by TomoTomo in Milan, The Passenger is a pleasure to hold and to read.
The Passenger’s logo depicts Huginn (“thought”) e Muninn (“memory”), two ravens from Norse mythology whose story perfectly symbolises the spirit of the series. Sent off by Odin at dawn, the crows would return each night to sit on the god’s shoulders, whispering into his ears whatever knowledge and wisdom they had gathered from the far corners of the world.
“A constant habit of reading international literature—be it in the form of journalism, literary nonfiction, or fiction—can give us a better appreciation of foreign cultures, and the tools to combat stereotypes and clichés.”
—Tomaso Biancardi, co-editor of The Passenger
“Represents a rare foray into non-fiction for Europa Editions.”
To leave home but never forget: the New York-based writer Colum McCann reflects on the choice he and so many others made to emigrate, leaving their native country behind but carrying it in their hearts for ever.
Every time I return to my native land I begin, once again, to understand the function of memory. This is the land I once walked across, from Dublin to Galway, in a nine-day rainstorm. This is the land where, as a child from the uncomplicated suburbs, I began to recognise the heft of violence. This is the land where light plays with shadow, perhaps more than anywhere else on earth. Bogland, tenement, winding backroad, leaping river, squinting glance. The land of saints, scholars, schizophrenics.
We are built on the wounds and the mercies of the past: everywhere we are is everywhere we have once been. And if any country captures the agile contradictions of our 21st century, it is, for me, the Ireland that I have known and loved.
It is still stunning to me to realise this, but I left Ireland over three decades ago. Coming home – and although I live in New York, I still call Ireland ‘home’ – I find my ribcage prised open and my heart wrung out like an old dishrag. Gone is the tiny muddy path to my old school. Someone has built a glass tower on the patch of soil where we schoolkids used to fight. There’s a superhighway going through the old football field. My secondary school is unrecognisably built up. Changed, changed, utterly changed. But nostalgia is dangerous, of course. There is no point in wearing ancient shoes: they are worn down and they pinch too hard and you’re never going to get very far in them. Returning to Ireland, I walk around in a body that tries to acknowledge the presence of the past and the intricate promise of the future.
From The Passenger: Ireland
Translated by Meredith McKinney
I’ve had reason to move house again, this time to a place one station on from Shimokitazawa.
So my nearest city— if you could call it a city— is still Shimokitazawa.
This feels like the last move I’ll make before I die, and it was particularly poignant in all sorts of ways.
The haunting sense that this just might be the place where I die.
The wrenching thought that the animals who live with me will no doubt die here, too.
It’s the first time I’ve had feelings like this about where I live, and for this very reason I have a presentiment that these things will indeed come to pass.
This house will be my base from which I’ll set off hither and yon and to which I’ll return.
The first time I entered this house, I had the conviction that this was the place I’d seen for so long in dreams. That conviction stayed with me while I moved in. All flowed smoothly, and questions of money, of time and all the other various difficulties somehow turned out just fine. The child me who lives inside myself sat for a while hugging her knees miserably, unable at first to really adjust to the change. But my animals, who’d protested hugely at the last move, quickly settled in this time, and things all slid nicely along according to schedule. The move was tough, yes, but this time round I wasn’t struggling against the flow, so the damage was minimal.
From The Passenger: Japan