Author(s): Kim Barker
A true-life Catch-22 set in the war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, by one of the region's longest-serving correspondents. Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent - she is candid, self-deprecating, and funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, 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 does the 'Taliban shuffle' between conflict zones, Barker offers a close-up account of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America's initial routing of the Taliban. When Barker arrives in Kabul, foreign aid is at a record low, electricity is a pipe dream, and of the few remaining foreign troops, some aren't allowed out after dark. Meanwhile, in the vacuum left by the US and NATO, the Taliban is regrouping. Swift, funny, and wholly original, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot unforgettably captures the absurdity and tragedy of our modern wars.
'... part war memoir, part tale of self-discovery that, thanks to Barker's biting honesty and wry wit, manages to be both hilarious and heartbreaking.' - Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune;;'Fierce, funny, and unflinchingly honest.' - Kirkus Review;;'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;;'Witty, brilliant, and impossible to put down. Think P. J. O'Rourke meets Paul Theroux. Who knew war could be so funny?' - Rajiv Chandrasekaran;;'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.' - Peter Bergen;;'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;;'Kim Barker gives a true and amusing picture of hellholes and the reporters on assignment in them. But she breaks the journo code of silence and reveals a trade secret of the hacks who cover hellholes: The hell of the holes is that they're kind of fun.' - P. J. O'Rourke
Kim Barker grew up in Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon, and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. She worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, for four years, and The Seattle Times for two years, winning awards for her investigative reporting. In 2001, at age 30, she joined the Chicago Tribune, and began making reporting trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan the next year. Barker was the Tribune's South Asia bureau chief from 2004 to 2009. She was then awarded the Council on Foreign Relations' Edward R. Murrow press fellowship to study Afghanistan and Pakistan. She now lives in New York City, where she works as a reporter at ProPublica.