A Reporter's Journey in the Congo
Anchor Books, 9780345806321, 288pp.
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
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January 2014 Indie Next List
“The tumultuous history of the Congo is fraught with power at its most corrupt, capitalism in its greediest form, and human survival at its most desperate. Sundaram, who lives in Kigali, Rwanda, knew nothing of journalism or the Congo when he traveled there to write about the country and pursue a writing career. This debut is the result of an 18-month occupation during which Sundaram is robbed, contracts malaria, and sees firsthand the undignified crushing of the human soul. This is reportage in its most excellent form -- immediate, informative, and riveting.”
— Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
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Book of the Year, The Royal African Society (UK)
In the powerful travel-writing tradition of Ryszard Kapuoeci ski and V.S. Naipaul, a haunting memoir of a dangerous and disorienting year of self-discovery in one of the world's unhappiest countries.
In August 2005, Anjan Sundaram abandoned his path to a Yale Ph.D. in mathematics to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and refashion himself as a journalist. He found a country that was diseased, corrupt, and poised on the cusp of war. When Sundaram is engaged as a "stringer" for the Associated Press, he becomes a chronicler for a country he's just beginning to experience. Stringer
is his searing portrait of life in this broken, lawless place, an account of the rocky education of a reporter. Sundaram describes the grueling reality of daily existence in the Congo, intimately outlining his own struggle to make sense of life in a world where cab rides can end at gunpoint and rebel generals are only a phone call away. As the city of Kinshasha descends into anarchy after a contested election, Sundaram takes shelter in a factory to file report after report even as other journalists flee. Oscillating between anger and loneliness and between melancholy and exhilaration, Stringer
completely transports us not only to the Congo--but to the limits of sanity, reason, and experience.
About the Author
Anjan Sundaram is an award-winning journalist who has reported from Africa and the Middle East for The New York Times and the Associated Press. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Fortune, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, and the Huffington Post. He has been interviewed by the BBC World Service and Radio France Internationale for his analysis of the conflict in Congo. He received a Reuters journalism award in 2006 for his reporting on Pygmy tribes in Congo's rain forest. He currently lives in Kigali, Rwanda, with his wife.