After reading an article by Ian Elliot. I decided that I will have to make a stop enroute to my favourite bookstore to pick up Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army, by Christie Blatchford ( ah yes- and on advise of a friend ->>and a peppermint hot chocolate while there.) The other, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, I need to finish first being it's on loan to me by friends (thank you Patty and Jane)
I'd like to share the article and book information with you:
Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army Author: Christie Blatchford
Posted By Ian Elliot
Christie Blatchford is an unabashed champion of the Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan, and wants the rest of the country to know where they are and what they have been tasked with doing.
Blatchford was in Kingston yesterday to meet with Royal Military College cadets and give a talk about her new book, Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death From Inside The New Canadian Army.
The title refers to the 15 significant days from her initial three tours as an embedded journalist for the Globe and Mail when significant events happened. They were usually the deaths of soldiers she had come to know in attacks. Those days, and their aftermath, make up the structure of her book.
The subtitle refers to the change, perhaps not in the military itself but in the public perception of it, as it engages in the first actual fighting war in more than a generation.
"I became the unofficial publicist for the army within five minutes of me being there for my first tour," Blatchford said in an interview at the college yesterday.
An unabashed supporter and friend of the young men and women she covered, Blatchford's book steers clear of the politics or the strategies of the Afghan mission, instead presenting a corporal's-eye view of life on the ground in a foreign and often hostile land.
Among the soldiers she profiles is Capt. Nicola Goddard, an RMC grad who was well-known around Kingston. Goddard was killed in Afghanistan last May and is described as a "smart, switched-on, charismatic young woman."
While undeniably sympathetic to the men and woman in uniform who surround her, Blatchford, who returns next spring for her fifth tour in Afghanistan, does not glorify them, nor does she let the book turn into a hagiography.
"I don't think I used the word 'heroic' or 'nobility' in the book - I tried not to exaggerate," she said. "I just wanted to write a book about the people who are doing the soldiering for us. The least we can do is know who these people are."
Blatchford, who lives in downtown Toronto, said she found it frustrating that many people there, and in other urban centres without a major military presence, seem oblivious to what the country's military is doing overseas - it was another reason she wanted to write the book. "It's true of a lot of urban areas, but particularly of Toronto," she said.
Christie Blatchford has been a high-profile Canadian journalist for over 25 years, with columns covering sports, lifestyle, current affairs, and crime. She started working for The Globe and Mail in 1972 while still studying at Ryerson, and has since worked for the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun and the National Post. She returned to The Globe and Mail in 2002. She is a winner of the National Newspaper Award for column writing.
Published:October 9, 2007
Dimensions:400 Pages, 6.2 x 9.28 x 1.15 in
From the PublisherLong before she made her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was already one of Canada’s most respected and eagerly read journalists. Her vivid prose, her unmistakable voice, her ability to connect emotionally with her subjects and readers, her hard-won and hard-nosed skills as a reporter–these had already established her as a household name. But with her many reports from Afghanistan, and in dozens of interviews with the returned members …+ read moreLong before she made her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was already one of Canada’s most respected and eagerly read journalists. Her vivid prose, her unmistakable voice, her ability to connect emotionally with her subjects and readers, her hard-won and hard-nosed skills as a reporter–these had already established her as a household name. But with her many reports from Afghanistan, and in dozens of interviews with the returned members of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and others back at home, she found the subject she was born to tackle. Her reporting of the conflict and her deeply empathetic observations of the men and women who wear the maple leaf are words for the ages, fit to stand alongside the nation’s best writing on war.It is a testament to Christie Blatchford’s skills and integrity that along with the admiration of her readers, she won the respect and trust of the soldiers. They share breathtakingly honest accounts of their desire to serve, their willingness to confront fear and danger in the battlefield, their loyalty towards each other and the heartbreak occasioned by the loss of one of their own. Grounded in insights gained over the course of three trips to Afghanistan in 2006, and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews not only with the servicemen and -women with whom she shared so much, but with their commanders and family members as well, Christie Blatchford creates a detailed, complex and deeply affecting picture of military life in the twenty-first century.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
After more than two years on the bestseller lists and over four million copies in print, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance.
Published:May 22, 2007
Dimensions:384 Pages, 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.25 in
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them. Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.
About the Author:
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in thirty-six countries. In 2006 he received a humanitarian award from the United Nations Refugee Agency and was named a U.S. goodwill envoy to that agency. He lives in northern California.