- 7,99 €
A journalist and her fixer struggle for the truth where truth is now a victim. Nabil al-Amari is an English teacher in Baghdad, in Saddam's Iraq, when a chance encounter with Samara Katchens, an American journalist covering the war, changes his life forever. It is April 2003 and American and British forces have recently invaded Iraq. Samara, or Sam for short, is ambitious, cynical and determined. Nabil is both fascinated and bewildered by her, and he's keen to show her things she doesn't notice in her rush to cover the news. She is pushed by her editor to seek concrete proof for a story concerning payments for false documents - a practice which breaks all journalistic codes of ethics - 'as if truth were so hard in that way, like rocks and concrete'. In Iraq it is rarely so. As Sam single-mindedly pursues this story, she discovers a chasm between her editor's expectations and the reality she faces in a city torn apart by war and conflicting loyalties. And in her determination to uncover the truth, she takes one gamble too many, endangering herself, Nabil and his family. '... a vivid portrait of Baghdad in the traumatic aftermath of invasion.' - The Guardian. '... spot-on descriptions of both the craft of reporting and the Iraqi landscape during that volatile time make this novel memorable and informative ... for a glimpse of life under the American occupation of Iraq, few could come close to Prusher's portrait.' - Kirkus reviews. '... this compelling debut is easy to recommend to both male and female readers interested in the Middle East, journalistic ethics, and international affairs.' - Booklist. 'A fascinating story which gives the texture of life in Iraq as it was lived by foreign journalists and Iraqis at the time of the invasion. It conveys a fresher sense of those years than a thousand news reports'. -- Patrick Cockburn, Iraq correspondent, The Independent. 'A fast-paced, evocative thriller that opens our eyes to the excitements and dangers of Iraq after the fall of Saddam. This gripping, beautifully-observed tale, written with a ring of true authenticity, captures the challenges of a journalist and her loyal fixer navigating their way through an Iraq rarely seen by outsiders.' -- Rory McCarthy, author of Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq. 'Ilene Prusher's novel is a compelling account of the first few weeks following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime told through the eyes of a fascinating and gracefully drawn Iraqi everyman... Ms Prusher draws us into his story as he is sometimes unwittingly lured deeper and deeper into the world of war journalism, watching with horror as his country descends into chaos.' -- Borzou Daragahi, Middle East and North African correspondent, Financial Times. 'A journalist's fixer is a go-between in so many senses: linguistic, cultural. The fixer straddles borders and boundaries, helping each try to communicate with the Other. Ilene Prusher conjures this so beautifully in her stunning, thrilling debut, as Nabil, an Iraqi English teacher with a poetic soul, is drawn into the unfamiliar, learning as much about his own country and people as about the world in which Samara, the American journalist who has hired him, moves so easily. A unique novel, Baghdad Fixer's compelling plot is combined with poignant and difficult insights into the life and tragedies of ordinary Iraqis during the war. This is not just a wonderful read, it is an important book for helping us, too, to begin to understand the Other.' -- Tania Hershman, author of My Mother Was An Upright Piano and The White Road and Other Stories.
Prusher draws on her experiences as a reporter who covered the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for her first novel, an uneven thriller set in 2003 in Iraq after the American invasion. Nabil al-Amari, the middle-class English teacher son of a Sunni father and Shiite mother, is at loose ends when American bombs damage his Baghdad school. Then Nabil becomes the translator for American journalist Samara "Sam" Katchens, for whom he also serves as travel guide, arranger of interviews, and general representative among the local population. Nabil finds his power as societal go-between enjoyable, and begins to fall in love with the spirited Sam. After Sam's newspaper asks her to verify a fellow journalist's explosive story claiming an American politician took bribes from Saddam Hussein, Nabil and Sam descend into the criminal, religious, and political underworld of Baghdad. A limpid plot revolving around a potpourri of actual journalistic tempests weakens Prusher's otherwise immensely engaging portrait of Baghdad society as seen through Nabil's eyes.