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Ghosts by Daylight: Love, War, and Redemption Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 20, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Di Giovanni writes with sadness, love and generosity ... turned the harsh facts of a life full of extremity and chaos into a story of defiant elegance ..." -The Telegraph (UK)

"Emotional battles and how to survive them are the principal themes in Ms di Giovanni's beautifully written memoir ...Ghosts by Daylight is no misery memoir, but a powerful lesson. Two people can love each other deeply, have a child, but still, in the end, not make it together." -The Economist

"Di Giovanni has constructed this bitter and illuminating story with admirable artistry ..." -The Times (UK)

"A moving memoir...Ghosts by Daylight is a story infused with love. The book shows that seemingly unflappable war correspondents are human, just like the rest of us." -New York Journal of Books

"Di Giovanni is a graceful writer, blessed with the kind of lucid prose that might trick readers into imagining that penning a compelling memoir would be easy. Her skilfull blending of the lovely...with with the gritty gives her book a very authentic kind of texture" -Christian Science Monitor

“Everyone knows life in a war zone must be harrowing and soul-threatening, and that becoming a mother for the first time is deeply fulfilling, right? In her keen, passionate memoir, Janine Di Giovanni illuminates just how easily these two can be swapped.”
—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
 
Ghosts by Daylight is a story infused with love: di Giovanni’s love of her job as a war correspondent, love of the one man who could frustrate, but also delight her, and unequivocal love of her son. The book also shows that seemingly invincible and unflappable war correspondents are human, just like the rest of us.”
—Phyllis Hanlon, New York Journal of Books
 
“In this sweeping memoir, di Giovanni offers a portrait of a love story abloom in wartime . . . [An] exotic tale of love gone awry.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“[A] beautifully written memoir about the pain of adjusting to normal life after being exposed to the intensity of battle . . . Ghosts by Daylight is no misery memoir, but a powerful lesson. Two people can love each other deeply, have a child, but still, in the end, not make it together.”
The Economist
 
“Di Giovanni writes with sadness, love and generosity about endings: about losing friends, colleagues, her father, her brother and her marriage. She is that unfashionable thing, a high romantic. Fortunately, she possesses a technique formidable enough to carry it off . . . [She has] turned the harsh facts of a life full of extremity and chaos into a story of defiant elegance”
—Jane Shilling, The Telegraph
 
“Janine di Giovanni writes with unblinking courage about war, death, marriage, motherhood, loss, love, redemption, fear—indeed, about all the world's most pressing risks and dangers. She has seen far more of life than the rest of us, so she knows more than we do—and yet she lays down her memoir with touching and deeply honest humility. Her writing here (as ever in her remarkable career) is a great and important achievement.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“With a gripping narrative that spans much of the globe, Ghosts by Daylight captures poignantly the romance of the war correspondent’s life as well as its physical and psychological hardships. Di Giovanni’s is a lyrical tale, haunted and haunting, of a passionate love affair that comes apart under fire, both on assignment abroad and at home in the quiet of living room and kitchen. She's been in all the hot spots of our era, and has suffered the cruel consequences, but she triumphs in the end over pain and trauma to dwell in a newfound contentment of her own devising.”
—Amy Wilentz, author of The Rainy Season
 
“Only a writer as tender and intuitive as Janine di Giovanni can offer herself as a witness to some of the world’s most barbarous and nightmarish wars while also deconstructing the very private unraveling of a once-beautiful love story. Ghosts by Daylight, just like its author, is brave, heroically and elegantly told, and brutally honest.”
—Fatima Bhutto, author of Songs of Blood and Sword
 
“Janine di Giovanni has written a profound and beautiful book about the two great human struggles: love and war. That so much hope could shine through a story of such violence and destruction is testimony to the human spirit and, of course, the breathtaking clarity of Di Giovanni’s prose. It is a brilliant book about things that concern us all.”
—Sebastian Junger, author of War

About the Author

Janine Di Giovanni has won four major journalistic awards, including the National Magazine Award, and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She writes for the British, American, and French press, and has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Algeria, Gaza, the West Bank, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Pakistan, East Timor, Ivory Coast, Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, Somalia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
She is the author of Madness Visible, The Quick and the Dead, The Place at the End of the World, and of the introduction to the international best seller Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo. Two documentaries have been made about her life and work. In 2010, she was the president of the jury of the Prix Bayeux-Calvados for War Correspondents. She lives in Paris.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307265587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307265586
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ghosts by Daylight is a beautifully written and moving account of the marriage breakdown of the author. The book traces her relationship with her husband from war zones around the globe and ends with their difficulty in adapting to life in Paris. I highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in the realities and consequences of life of a war journalist.
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Format: Hardcover
A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the toll war reporting takes on the inner lives of those who venture out to shine light in dark places. Di Giovanni interweaves a personal account of her experiences at the front with an account of her relationship with the father of her child and their attempts to hold it together despite the ghosts of wars past. A spellbinding and beautiful book.
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By Alba on September 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A truly gripping love story, written with grace and disarming honesty. `Ghosts by daylight' weaves seamlessly between Paris and the war-torn Balkans, between pregnancy and motherhood, between love found and love lost. It is also about how to live an ordinary life after having seen its darker sides and how to survive in the face of adversity. Janine di Giovanni's book is a profoundly moving and powerful memoir, a reminder that no witness of war can escape its insidious legacy. One of the best reads of 2011.
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Format: Hardcover
Janine DiGiovanni continues to amaze with her insight, stories and remarkable talent for capturing the human element of conflict and her own personal stories. A stunning read which I highly recommend to anyone interested in war reporting, journalism, or just a tale of a life-lived in conflict reporting on those who need their stories told the most.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must-read for those interested in the real impact that frontline reporting has on journalists. Di Giovanni's story is poignant, told with great courage and staggering honesty.....I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd looked forward to reading this book but was disappointed and was glad when I finally finished it. The author wrote very well about her experiences in former Yugoslavia and other war zones and that was the reason I wanted to read her newest book. However, the struggles in her personal life held no interest for me and I'm glad I didn't pay the full published price for it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Through a loosely told chronology, the story flits between present realities and past memories. Both are littered with the horror of war; the civil kind. In essence though, it is about two people caught up in the journalism of war and other conflicts. It's hard enough to be normal in such circumstances. When love enters the picture, it is a wonder that such emotion erupts at all, let alone survives. This story is therefore about such a thing; love in the midst of war and conflict. It is a moving story. I found the structure of the writing slightly irritating; the oscillation between the present and the past. For that reason alone, four stars.

Ian Hunter.
Author of The Early Years, E-Love, E-Dreams, E-World, Three Interludes, Love's Anatomy and Conversations.

For Ian Hunter, the author and reviewer, page 240 perhaps carries his epitaph: 'people who deeply love each other cannot always live together; this is the real sadness of life'. It is certainly the enduring sadness of mine in this turbulent year, 2011.
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