News from the Red Desert

News from the Red Desert

Vintage Canada | August 1, 2017 | 320 pages

From the award-winning author of Country of Cold and Consumption, the definitive novel of the Afghanistan war. News From the Red Desert begins on the Kandahar Airfield in late 2001, when everyone believes the war is won and the Taliban defeated. Then it leaps late in the severely escalated conflict, peering into the experiences of the men and women who have come to Afghanistan to seek purpose, adventure and danger, by engaging in the treacherous pursuit of making war. It follows Deirdre O'Malley, an American war correspondent standing in the thick of things. Even as she bonds with the soldiers she covers, she grapples with wavering loyalties toward her ex-lover, the American general running the theatre. Fuelling the tension is the melancholy American supply sergeant who accidentally releases a trove of war porn online. Fearing arrest at any moment, he has stayed on too long in Kandahar for reasons he doesn't understand himself. Caught up in these currents are the Pakistanis who operate the Green Beans cafe on the base, led by optimist Rami Issay, who wants to lighten his customers' hearts by running film and chess clubs on the premises. But the war intrudes even into the lives of the well-intentioned. In a powerful climax that tests everyone's loyalty and faith, the essential chaos of violence asserts itself. Love and desire endure, but no one escapes unscathed.

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ISBN: 9780345815033

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