Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo

Anjan Sundaram. . Doubleday, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0385-53775-9
In 2005, Sundaram withdrew from Yale without completing his Ph.D. in mathematics and declined a job offer from Goldman Sachs, as he tells in this impressive narrative. Instead, in 2005, he opted for the precarious life of freelance reporter in one of the world’s most desperate and downtrodden countries in the world—Congo. Settling in Kinshasa with a local family, Sundaram begins accommodating himself to the harsh realties of daily life while struggling to survive as a fledging reporter in an unfamiliar and strange environment. When Sundaram lands a position as a stringer for the AP news service he gains a bit of stability. He makes professional contacts, writes more stories, and garners a bit of prestige. He leaves Kinshasa, wanting to experience more of the country, traveling upriver on a barge to a region where multinational companies log the forests and introduce local populations to the effects of globalization. When war breaks out over disputed election results, Sundaram ventures into the fray, holing up in a margarine factory and becoming one of the few reporters in the war zone filing stories. The author skillfully captures the smallest details of life in a destitute land, blending the sordid history of Congo with his battle to forge a career in a troubled and forsaken country. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
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