Kim Barker is not your typical foreign correspondent. Raised in Montana, at thirty she had barely been overseas, spoke only English, and knew little about Islam and even less about Osama Bin Laden. But none of that would stop her from heading to Afghanistan and Pakistan to cover the fallout from 9/11.
When she arrives, Kim makes all sorts of mistakes — from eating toxic sushi, to forgetting her money on her first trip to Kabul — but soon she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter, with grave concerns about the ability of US might to win hearts and minds in the region.
As she moves between conflict zones, Kim offers a close-up account of the war, and of the people at its heart, finding humour and humanity amid the rubble and the heartbreak.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot captures the absurdity and tragedy of our modern wars, and gives us an unlikely but unforgettable heroine for our times.
‘Kim Barker is 'a sort of Tina Fey character, who unexpectedly finds herself addicted to the adrenaline rush of war ... [She has] discovered a voice ... that enables her to capture both the serious and the seriously absurd conditions in Af-Pak, and the surreal deal of being a female reporter there ... hilarious and harrowing, witty and illuminating, all at the same time.’
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
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‘Multilayered and darkly comic.’
‘Part war memoir, part tale of self-discovery that, thanks to Barker's biting honesty and wry wit [it] manages to be both hilarious and heartbreaking.’
Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune
‘Witty, brilliant, and impossible to put down. Think P. J. O’Rourke meets Paul Theroux. Who knew war could be so funny?’
‘Laugh-out-loud funny, it is the true story of what it is like to be a female journalist in one of the world's most exotic war zones, while telling the reader much about what is really going on today in Afghanistan and Pakistan.’
‘Ms Barker offers this world — the human world caught in the crosshairs of history — with a vitality rarely seen in accounts of the war. A compelling read that offers readers a glimpse of the goings-on behind the byline.’
J. Maarten Troost
‘Fierce, funny, and unflinchingly honest.’