At the start of her career Janine di Giovanni was advised, 'Write about the small voices, the people who can't write about themselves.'
For over fifteen years, she has been doing exactly that. From a near-abandoned hospital in Chechnya to bombed-out Tora Bora in Afghanistan, from Saddam Hussein's derelict palace in Baghdad to the inner-city barrios of Kingston, Jamaica, di Giovanni has covered almost every embattled place in the world and the people caught in its midst. Like Myriem, who lives on the West Bank, but can no longer use her farm because it falls on the Israeli side of the security fence; and Sia, one of the child soldiers of Sierra Leone, who talks blithely of shedding her violent past; and Abdul, who was imprisoned by the Taliban at seventeen for not wearing a beard.
The pieces collected here begin with Algeria in 1998 and end with Iraq in 2005. They are vivid, raw and impassioned - and they make war terrifyingly real.