NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The remarkable memoir of an ambitious young photojournalist who went off to war as a twenty-two-year-old girl—and came back, four years and many adventures later, a woman
“Eloquent and well observed, not only about the memoirist, but about the world: war, death, photojournalism and, of course, the worldwide battle between the sexes.” —The Washington Post Book World
In 1988, fresh out of Harvard, Deborah Copaken Kogan moved to Paris with a small backpack, a couple of cameras, the hubris of a superhero, and a strong thirst for danger. She wanted to see what a war would look like when seen from up close. Naïvely, she figured it would be easy to filter death through the prism of her wide-angle lens.
She was dead wrong.
Within weeks of arriving in Paris, after begging to be sent where the action was, Kogan found herself on the back of a truck in Afghanistan, her tiny frame veiled from head to toe, the only woman—and the only journalist—in a convoy of rebel freedom fighters. Kogan had not actually planned on shooting the Afghan war alone. However, the beguiling French photographer she’d entrusted with both her itinerary and her heart turned out to be as dangerously unpredictable as, well, a war.
Kogan found herself running from one corner of the globe to another, each linked to the man she was involved with at the time. From Zimbabwe to Romania, from Russia to Haiti, Kogan takes her readers on a heartbreaking yet surprisingly hilarious journey through a mine-strewn decade, her personal battles against sexism, battery, and even rape blending seamlessly with the historical struggles of war, revolution, and unfathomable abuse it was her job to record.
In the end, what was once adventurous to the girl began to weigh heavily on the woman. Though she had finally been accepted into photojournalism’s macho fraternity, her photographs splashed across the front pages of international newspapers and magazines, Kogan began to feel there was something more she was after. Ultimately, what she discovered in herself was a person—a woman—for whom life, not death, is the one true adventure to be cherished above all.