cover image Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog from Iraq

Riverbend, , intro. by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella. . Feminist, $14.95 (190pp) ISBN 978-1-55861-529-8

The distinctive voice of pseudonymous Riverbend shines through this continuation of her blog, from October 2004 through March 2006 (2005's Baghdad Burning won a Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Literary Reportage). Now 27, she offers an invaluable description of life in a middle-class, secular, mixed Shia-Sunni family. Alternating reports of attacks seen on TV and raids in her neighborhood with the mundane details of fuel shortages and infrequent electricity and water, Riverbend also offers astute analysis of the Iraqi draft constitution and American media, widely available through Iraqi TV and the Internet (her suggestion for a reality show: "Take 15 Bush supporters and throw them in a house in Fallujah"). She emphasizes how gender has become an issue when it never was before, e.g., election forms are all stamped "male." Riverbend's dry wit leavens her anger: after watching the 2006 Oscar ceremonies on TV, she proposes Iraqi Oscars ("Ahmed Al-Chalabi in 'Disappearing Act' for his magnificent evaporation from the Iraqi political scene"). Throughout, the blog insists that most Iraqis are tolerant; prefer secular to religious government; fear civil war; and vehemently want the occupation to end. (Riverbend's blog continues at (Nov.)