cover image It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

Lynsey Addario. Penguin Press, $29.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-59420-537-8

Addario, a photojournalist, documentary photographer, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and part of a Pulitzer Prize–winning team for work on a magazine story about the Taliban, presents a highly readable and thoroughly engaging memoir of her experiences around world, documenting and filing photographs in hostile areas for some of the U.S.’s most well-known publications including the New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine. She touches on aspects of her childhood and upbringing in Connecticut, but focuses mainly on her professional career and development as a photojournalist in the post-9/11 world. She describes her experiences in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and elsewhere—including being kidnapped three weeks into the Libyan uprising of 2011. Addario astutely addresses the difficulties of being a woman in a “brutally competitive,” overwhelmingly male profession. She also articulates the passion that compels her and others to continue this difficult and dangerous work, while shedding light on the logistics, risks, and other considerations involved in documenting world events for newspapers and magazines. Addario’s memoir brilliantly succeeds not only as a personal and professional narrative but also as an illuminating homage to photojournalism’s role in documenting suffering and injustice, and its potential to influence public opinion and official policy. Photos. (Feb.)