On the Shadow Tracks

On the Shadow Tracks

A Journey through Occupied Myanmar


Brought to you by Penguin.

In 2016, while working as a journalist in Yangon, Clare Hammond discovered an obscure map that showed a web of new railways spanning the length and breadth of the country - railways not shown on any other publicly available maps. She was determined to uncover the railways' origins, purpose, and most of all, the silence that surrounded them. She would spend three months travelling on these mysterious railways, and the next five years piecing their story together.

Her journey would take her from Myanmar's tropical south to the embattled mountain towns that border India and China. In dilapidated carriages, along tracks in disrepair, through contested ethnic states and former sites of forced labour, visiting temples, tea shops and festivals, Clare encountered a colourful and contradictory Myanmar through the stories of its people. Simultaneously a lush and evocative travelogue, an unsparing account of Myanmar's recent history, and an astonishing, conversation-shifting engagement with Britain's colonial legacy, On the Shadow Tracks is that rare and necessary thing: a book that finds and tells the truth.

©2024 Clare Hammond (P) 2024 Penguin Audio

About the author

Clare Hammond

Clare Hammond is a British journalist. Based in London, she works for non-profit Global Witness, investigating issues relating to natural resources, conflict and corruption. In Yangon, where she lived for six years, Hammond was most recently the digital editor of Frontier, Myanmar's best-known investigative magazine, where she oversaw daily news coverage. A Google News Initiative and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee, her work has won multiple awards.
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