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Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo Paperback – November 4, 2014
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Praise for Stringer:
"[Sundaram] has made gold out of...embracing the vulnerability one feels as a story unfolds. He uses moments of his own confusion or ignorance to illuminate the people and places around him."
—Columbia Journalism Review
"A remarkable book about the lives of people in Congo."
—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
"This is a book about a young journalist's coming of age, and a wonderful book it is, too."
—Ted Koppel, NPR
“A remarkable debut, an eye-opening account.”
—The Daily Beast
"An excellent debut book of reportage on the Congo."
—Fareed Zakaria, CNN
“Original, startling, and compelling… remarkable… Sundaram excels at describing the moments of unfathomable tedium, petty crime, and long stretches of solitude. These moments, beautifully rendered, draw back the curtain on the making of foreign news… The scenes are vivid, the prose muscular. Sundaram paints vast emotional landscapes that he would never have been able to squeeze into a wire report… a testament to the importance of longform journalism, and books in general.”
“Perceptive…part travel memoir, part meditation on the unknown and ignored…the writer Sundaram most reminds me of is Teju Cole…meditative and closely observant…perceptive and intensely self-analytical…The stringer has earned his stripes.”
—Magnus Taylor, African Arguments
"Books by journalists usually keep the focus outward, but Sundaram has more of a novelist's interior sensibility and a talent for describing anxiety and ennui. Readers may be tempted to compare him to Conrad and Naipaul, but he has a strong, unique style all his own."
"Excerpts from his notebooks chronicle personal reflections as he struggles to learn how to report from an unruly land, harboring doubts and misgivings and a feverish desperation to make sense of one of the deadliest places in the world. [It's] a breathtaking look at a troubled nation exploited by greedy forces within and without."
"The author skillfully captures the smallest details of life in a destitute land, blending the sordid history of Congo with his battle to forge a career in a troubled and forsaken country."
"The authenticity is palpable."
“Anjan Sundaram’s prose is so luscious, whether he’s writing about mathematics or colonial architecture or getting mugged, that the words come alive and practically dance on the page. Stringer, his first book, about a year-long journey to Congo; reading it made me feel like I’d follow him anywhere in the world.”
—Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood
“What a debut! It's not often one reads a book of reportage from a difficult foreign country with such fever-dream immediacy, such tense intelligence, and such an artful gift for story-telling. Here is a commanding new writer who comes to us with the honesty, the intensity, and the discerning curiosity of the young Naipaul.”
—Pico Iyer, author of The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul, and The Man Within My Head
“In lucid and searing prose, and with bracing self-awareness, Anjan Sundaram explores a country that has long been victimized by the ever-renewed greeds of the modern world. Stringer is one of those very rare books of journalism that transcend their genre—and destiny as ephemera—and become literature.”
—Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire and Temptations of the West
"With an incisive intellect and senses peeled raw, Sundaram takes us on a mesmerizing journey through the vibrant shambles of modern Congo. This is that rare work of reportage that achieves true literary greatness, and it can stand proudly next to V.S. Naipaul or Ryszard Kapuscinski."
—Richard Grant, author of God's Middle Finger
“Stringer is an extraordinary work of reportage. Anjan Sundaram is the Indian successor to Kapuscinski.”
—Basharat Peer, author of Curfewed Night
"A fascinating, breathtaking work of reporting and introspection from a writer whose next work will be eagerly awaited.”
—Time Out Mumbai
About the Author
Anjan Sundaram is an award-winning journalist who has reported from Africa and the Middle East for The New York Times and the Associated Press. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Fortune, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, and the Huffington Post. He has been interviewed by the BBC World Service and Radio France Internationale for his analysis of the conflict in Congo. He received a Reuters journalism award in 2006 for his reporting on Pygmy tribes in Congo’s rain forest. He currently lives in Kigali, Rwanda, with his wife.
Top customer reviews
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I liked Anjan's narrative on his going to Kinshasa, and then finding a job at the AP where he wrote stories for the international news service. He went native and developed a working relationship with the Congolese. Although short on this history of this failed nation, the narrative is well worth the read.
A nice travel book of modern adventure.
‘Stringer’ challenged my world-view in an unexpected manner, by bringing dystopia to reality. I remember Congo as Zaire (from my school-days), and Anjan’s writing jolted me into seeing Congo for what it is today – an extreme conflict-ridden zone. It is going to be a while before I can look at mobile phones without thinking of the role Congo plays in their parts.
Anjan’s writing is lucid, candid and engaging as he describes his various experiences as a Stringer and delves into Congo’s history, and it is with a mix of marvel and sadness that I read it all. The incident where a woman worked long hours and ate boiled leaves (that were mashed) for food shall remain with me.