- A Hundred and One Days : A Baghdad Journal
- by Asne Seierstad
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (April 12, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465076009
- ISBN-13: 978-0465076000
It would be difficult for me to put into words what I felt after reading this book. It is a journal detailing the journey that Asne Seierstad takes in her efforts to cover the Iraq war. The book is split into three parts : Before, During and After. In each section Asne Seierstad does a great job encapsulating all the events that occurs in a very straightforward, journalistic approach.
So many emotions are captured very vividly by the author as she goes about her work. The frustration at being denied proper access to interviews, the hawk-eyed control of the Ministry of Information,
I am here to find dissidents, a secret uprising, gagged intellectuals, Saddam's opponents. I am here to point out human rights violations, expose oppression. And I'm reduced to being a tourist.
the discretion that people insist on practicing, and most of all there is an air of distrust amongst neighbours because you never know who'll betray you. It is a book set in the harsh times during the reign of Saddam Hussein and in each sentence, you feel the oppression of the people.
We are exhausted from lack of sleep. It is as if we are ice cold inside, immune to feelings of happiness, to brandy, fear, hunger. We walk the earth in a numb existence, an existence filled with trauma and insomnia.
At times, the book left me teary eyed, especially at the loss of innocent lives. Readers get a first hand description of the images that will never make it in newspapers and TV because staring at the vacant eyes of infants would be dancing too close to the line of reality.
All in all, this is a good book for those of you who would like an insider's point of view on the happenings of the Iraq war. Asne Seierstad has done a remarkable job in bringing in the fear, the frustration and the fruitlessness of war. The book is really about the Iraqis and their voicelessness and inability to command the hands of fate that sets their destiny.
They're forgetting one thing, Yves says, looking out through the taped balcony door. The battle for hearts. He empties his glass - That too must be won.