A memoir of love by Lara Marlowe, the Irish Times' correspondent in Paris.
Lara Marlowe first met Robert Fisk in 1983, in Damascus. He was already a famous war correspondent; she was a young American reporter, who would soon become a celebrated figure in her own right. For the next twenty years, they were lovers, husband and wife, friends, occasionally estranged from and angry with each other.
They learned from each other and from the people in the ruined world they reported from: Lebanon, torn apart by a vicious civil war and then by Israeli and Syrian invasions; Israel and Palestine, and the world's most intractable national conflict; Syria in the iron grip of the Assad clan; and Iraq, suffering first under Saddam's dictatorship and and then shattered by the American invasion of 2003. They were threatened with death by brutal militiamen; huddled together on the floor of their apartment as bombs and missiles rained down on Beirut; denounced as spies or accused of partisan reporting. Through all this they loved and respected each other, but their marriage eventually disintegrated, partly under the terrible pressures of their work. Even after they separated they remained friends and wrote and spoke to each other affectionately.
This is at once a portrait of a remarkable man by a woman who loved him, the story of a Middle East broken by its own divisions and outside powers, and a moving account of a relationship in dark times.
'[Marlowe's writing] is breathtaking when she examines the chaos and outrage of war, volleying snippets of imagery that have amazing power ... Marlowe has a strong ability to get to the story, and for that reason alone her book is worth a read' Publishers Weekly
'Lara Marlowe is one of the most thoughtful and insightful journalists ever to have geared up in a flak jacket and combat helmet ... She gives meaning and illumination to the people and history of our time' Richard Bonin, CBS News.
'A terrific reporter and limpid writer, Marlowe breathes welcome life into the stories behind the headlines of many of the most momentous world events in the past 30 years' Joelle Attinger, Former Chief of Correspondents, TIME.
'I first met Lara Marlowe 20 years ago in Damascus. Her graceful dispatches from the world's conflict zones to Paris are a heady mélange of adventure and compassion ... In an era when we wonder about women in war zones, follow Lara Marlowe, because her empathy, combined with her grit, takes us into interior realms you will never otherwise see' Jacki Lyden, NPR News