‘One of the best (books) I have ever read on the difficult relationship between the developed world and the Third World. An eye-opener. Scroggins is as brave as her subject…she has written a wonderful and challenging book.’ William Shawcross, Sunday Times
‘A wonderful book and a gripping history of the Sudan which doesn’t shrink the complexities.’ Observer
‘Scroggins is to be congratulated for making the story of McCune’s ill-fated foray into Africa such a good read.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Deborah Scroggins’ analysis provides sharp relevance. It is the story both of a woman and a strange and sorrowful world.’ Sunday Independent
‘Remarkable…it has the feel of an epic tale, taking in the tragedy of Sudan…Scroggins steers a tight path between writing this book as an account of her own fascination with Sudan and as the story of McCune’s life.’ New Statesman
‘Her biography is a painstaking and loving portrait of this remarkable woman.’ Evening Standard
‘Deborah Scroggins has a sharp eye. “Emma’s War” is about the politics of the belly, and what happens when the fat white paunch meets the swollen stomachs of the hungry in Africa. It is a sorry story, but Ms Scroggins tells it awfully well.’ Economist
‘Part history, part biography and part Scroggins’ own memoir, “Emma’s War” offers an enthralling, accessible account of Sudan’s most recent history.’ Sunday Business Post
From the Publisher
From the Back Cover
'The riveting, provocative, true story of a young relief worker who crossed the line, entering a world she had intended only to help.'
Emma McCune's passion for Africa, her unstinting commitment to the children of the Sudan, and her youthful beauty and glamour set her apart from other relief workers from the moment she arrived in southern Sudan. But no one was prepared for her decision to marry a local warlord – a man who seemed to embody everything she was working against – and to throw herself into his violent quest to take over southern Sudan's rebel movement.
With precision and insight, Deborah Scroggins – who met McCune in the Sudan – charts the process by which McCune's romantic delusions led to her descent into the hell of Africa's longest running civil war. 'Emma's War' is at once a disturbing love story and a penetrating examination of the Sudan: a world where international aid fuels armies instead of the starving population, and where the northern-based Islamic government – backed by Osama bin Laden – is locked in a war with the Christian and pagan south over religion, oil and slaves.
A revelatory account of the nature of relief work, of the men and women who choose to carry it out, and of one woman's seduction by Africa.
"A wrenching journey through one of Africa's most cruel civil wars with, at its centre, a reckless, romantic heroine no novelist could invent."
KATI MARTON, author of 'Hidden Power'
"'Emma's War' should be read not only for its fascinating historical roadmaps, but its furious recital of our narcissistic fantasies of making the black, the other, white in our image."
CAROLYN SLAUGHTER, author of 'Before the Knife'
"'Emma's War' is a fascinating journey through hell, one levels both macro and micro, its many threads woven into a fine tapestry. On the one hand, we have the Sudan, its complicated history expertly limned. On the other, we have Emma: beautiful, passionate, flawed and doomed."
DENORAH COPAKEN KOGAN, author of 'Shutterbabe'
"The most revealing book about Africa and the West's obsession with it that I have read in several years."
ROBERT D. KAPLAN, author of 'The Ends of the Earth' and 'The Coming Anarchy'
About the Author
Deborah Scroggins won six national journalism awards for her reporting from the Sudan and the Middle East. A former correspondent at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, she has published articles in Granta and the Independent. She lives in Atlanta.