Page-Turners: The Best Books (as selected by the Economist) discussion

Ghosts by Daylight Love, War, and Redemption
Biography and Memoir > CURRENT: "Ghosts by Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love" by Janine di Giovanni

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message 1: by Haaze, Book Wisp (last edited Dec 22, 2011 03:11AM) (new) - added it

Haaze | 17 comments Mod
Feel free to add comments and perspectives in regards to Ghosts by Daylight Love, War, and Redemption by Janine Di Giovanni. Articles, links and video clips are welcome in this thread.


message 2: by Haaze, Book Wisp (last edited Dec 21, 2011 11:40PM) (new) - added it

Haaze | 17 comments Mod
A review from the Economist:

An article by Giovanni from NYT (Sept 11, 2011):

The moral dilemma of covering a war as a journalist:

message 3: by Haaze, Book Wisp (new) - added it

Haaze | 17 comments Mod
A lecture by Janine di Giovanni:
Janine di Giovanni is one of the worlds top foreign correspondents specializing in human rights. Committed to working in conflict zones, she has reported from war-torn regions such as Rwanda, Nicaragua, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans for numerous major publications, including The Times of London, Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and National Geographic. Her many books include Madness Visible, a memoir of the Balkan conflicts. Join di Giovanni for a talk about her life as an international reporter and the responsibilities journalists hold to bear witness to the atrocities of war.

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) I read or listened to the review/article/video of message 2; the 1-1/2 hr talk at the Walker Art Center in message 3 will take longer.

From my reading chapters 1-3 of Ghosts by Daylight I discovered that Di Giovanni didn't psychologically register the extreme danger around her e.g. at the front in Sarajevo 1993, that her correspondent's life had none of the responsibilities of real life, and that a placid place in Abidjan can overnight turn into a state of emergency with curfews and snipers. Bruno's iron door separating the bedroom from the rest of the house, his gun laying under the bed, his front yard with a slain victim were typical of Janine and his lives.

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) Bruno is the man who tells Janine that when he's there everything will turn out right, Janine feeling confident in that. Having had three miscarriages, Janine is now in her fourth decade. The story is about the tests, hospitalizations, procedures she copes with during pregnancy, which results in a boy--"our redemption" she calls the small Parisian family.

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) About three years after the creation of a happy family life Janine and Bruno experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a condition sending them to doctors (trauma psychiatrists) for evaluation and treatment.
...the bubble of joy, that contained little unit in which we existed, had been split in half. The ghosts of the past were chasing us. And they had managed to catch him [Bruno].
When Luca is six months old, Janine takes 5-day assignments abroad. Bruno extensively remodels a house in Paris for them.

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) Besides the prevalent, disturbing ghosts of prior assignments in Sarajevo, Abidjan, Jalalabad, and other places, subtler ghosts survived out of his ancestry and her childhood--addiction, reticence, tragedy, displacement. Those pasts hovered around the edge of their currently beautiful Parisian life. Also there is the hard-to-believe thoughts that Luca will be independent of her
No one tells your when you give birth about the real sadness of parenthood--that children grow up
and that Bruno will be separated from her.

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) Haaze wrote: "A lecture by Janine di Giovanni: Janine di Giovanni is one of the worlds top foreign correspondents specializing in human rights. Committed to working in conflict zones, she has reported from war-t..."

The YouTube lecture, noted in the post above, from the Walker Art Center--the talk and question period--with Di Giovanni is recorded a few years before her book Ghosts by Daylight... but contains many points in that book. Three new points are that she was in the conflict zones to document human rights abuses, that today newspapers hire local stringers for far-away reportage, and that her oral stories seemed darker. IMO, the video added to my knowledge of Ghosts as well as of author who wrote it.

Marieke | 9 comments I hope to get to this soon! Asmah, you are making me want to read it right now but I'm already behind in other reading! :(

Asma Fedosia (InTheNoh) Marieke, I think I know what you mean in keeping up the pace (that we set for ourselves!). I find it challenging to keep with the 52 countries while there are so many books about Japan and to keep up with selecting longer or shorter works to stay with the GR challenge.

As for di Giovanni's book here, the first part and conclusion took place during/and after conflict zones, especially Sarajevo; while the middle part was about adjusting to safe, convenient Parisian life with Bruno and Luca after her prior experiences--a hauntingly private memoir. A memorable point for thought was her realization that she as a visitor, unlike the residents, could leave the dangerous zones at any time. Post traumatic stress syndrome wasn't felt until years afterward when an event could set off a dreadful memory. The Epilogue is a kind of revisiting Sarajevo, a 'where is everybody now several years later' and 'is that where it happened'.

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