Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen

Laura Kasinof. Skyhorse/Arcade (Perseus, dist.), $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-62872-445-5
This journalism memoir takes a personalized look at the Arab Spring in Yemen, where Kasinof arrived as a 25-year-old aspiring journalist hoping to improve her Arabic. She got far more than she bargained for when protests turned violent in March 2011, prompting her to volunteer her services to the New York Times as a war correspondent. Kasinof initially has an exaggerated sense of her own importance to the larger story, but gradually matures into a respectful witness to history. She captures the spirit of possibility in a conversation with a political activist who notes that the tumult of the Arab Spring "made our nations stronger and our rulers weaker." When the shooting escalates and civil war appears imminent, she decides to stay, pulling the reader into her heady, complicated mix of emotions. Never claiming to be a seasoned journalist, she notes at one point the charge she got from finding out "how reporting works" while chasing a lead. Nonetheless, Kasinof often manages a wryly knowing tone, as when she observes how integral the practice of chewing the narcotic herb qat is to Yemeni political discussions. By the book's end, she is sharper, savvier and a confirmed Yemenophile. Even if the reader doesn't fully grasp the appeal Yemen holds for Kasinof, her passion for the country still makes for a compelling tale. Agent: Markus Hoffman, Regal Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/15/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-62872-463-9
Ebook - 978-1-62872-687-9
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-1-62872-648-0
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