The Tenth Parallel
To explore the knife-edge where Islam and Christianity meet, Eliza Griswold has spent much of the past seven years traveling in Africa and Asia between the equator and the line of latitude seven hundred miles to the north, the tenth parallel. Through a series of unforgettable characters and their lives of deep faith, she tells the fifteen-hundred year story of how these two great faiths have come to intersect—and interact. She concludes that the most important forces shaping the future of the world’s religions are those contests unfolding inside of Christianity and Islam, not between them. She shows us that religion, like the weather, links us to each other whether we like it or not.
The poems in this fierce debut are an an attempt to record what matters. As a reporter’s dispatches, they concern themselves with different forms of desolation: what it means to feel at home in wrecked places and then to experience loneliness and dislocation in the familiar. The collection arcs between internal and external worlds—the disappointment of returning, the guilt and thrill of departure, unexpected encounters in blighted places.