Daniel Metcalfe’s first book, Out of Steppe, which charts a five-month trip to track down ‘the lost peoples of Asia’, bravely takes up the challenge of contemporary travel writing. Metcalfe’s reasons for writing the book are a little flimsy: he is inspired by ‘a feeling … that if I didn’t talk to some of these people soon, in a few years their culture may be indistinguishable from their neighbours’. Nevertheless, his instinct is quite right. These beleaguered ethnic groups, struggling to survive in a post-Soviet world, deserve our attention.
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In Silenced Voices, @lucyjpop turns her attention to the journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, and the historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev, both of whom have been 'imprisoned on trumped-up charges' in Russia.