Speaker and media

Interviews with Christina Asquith

Reviews

“A rare, beautifully written insight into the haunting ways in which women have been affected by the conflict,”
The Financial Times, 11.07.2009

“If you are a woman, and you plan to read only one book on the lives of women under Islam fundamentalism, or if you want to see war from a whole new perspective than the usual one delivered by male (generally white, western) authors, this is an excellent choice. I should also add, this is not by any means an anti-American screed, nor is it an indictment of the Muslim religion. Rather, it seeks to point out abuses that can happen when lawlessness and politics govern a country, and emphasizes that in situations of war, women are often the first victims. “
The Sunday Salon, 10.2009

“An elegant narrative… Deftly chronicled by Asquith, who spent two years in Baghdad reporting from the front lines, this informative narrative offers readers a seldom heard female perspective into the everyday lives, struggles, disappointments and triumphs of four women during this chaotic and dangerous time.
Publishers Weekly, 08.2009

“Christina Asquith has written a brilliant book, extraordinary in concept and execution, the most intimate and moving portrait I have read of the early American disaster in Iraq. This is a work of reporting and writing that will last.”
Mark Bowden, author of “Black Hawk Down”

“Ms. Asquith’s description of the wild incompetence – and dedication – of early American efforts in Iraq reads like a great novel but with the added weight of history. And her focus on women, both American and Iraqi, makes this book uniquely valuable among the many on this long war. Ms. Asquith is a fine writer and, clearly, a very brave reporter. She has filled in several crucial pieces of the Iraq puzzle, and done it beautifully.”
Sebastian Junger, author of “The Perfect Storm”

“Asquith’s assemblage of personal journeys effectively fuses into a universal message about human dignity, tenacity and generosity of spirit. . . . .A vital, edifying cultural investigation.”
Kirkus Review, 09.2009

“The plot moves flawlessly. Asquith travels from Baghdad to small towns outside the major cities, chronicling the problems many mid- to low-income families faced during the height of the war. Asquith also forces readers to not only want Nunu and Zia to survive in their new country, but to thrive and become the shapers of a democracy that promises so much. . . . Asquith has won admiration from many feminists and Iraqi activists for exposing this struggle. Her resounding message is that a country committed to ensuring the needs, success and prosperity of women is a country worth fighting for.”
Roll Call, 09.2009

“Few books capture the complexity and diversity of Muslim women and the varying views on their place in Islam as Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq by journalist Christina Asquith. The stories of these four women, with their internal growth and external accomplishments, gives the reader a balanced, multifaceted look into the realities of post-war Iraq – the failures, incompetency, oversights, and hubris involved but also the small successes and the opening of new opportunities. Asquith’s book, a true page-turner, reads like a novel while sharing a perspective on Iraq rarely accessible to the American public.”
Altmuslimah, 10.2009

“Journalist Asquith went into hiding with a Baghdadi family she had befriended, and investigated what life meant for Iraqi women. She also immersed herself in the lives of a few Americans who remained there, devoted to creating at least small solutions to the massive problems of local women, both new and historical. Sisters in War is the formidable fruit of her reporting, a tale that interweaves the personal horrors of sisters Zia and Nunu with the trials of an American NGO worker and a female soldier.”
Slate.com’s Double X, 10.2009

Sisters in War is a brilliant, powerful and convincing story of three women from the same Iraqi family. . .  Christina Asquith, a journalist who spent two years in Iraq working for The New York Times has written a sincere, thought-provoking and timely account of the lives of Iraqi women from 2001 to 2009. The true story is engaging and very well written; in fact I felt I was reading a novel rather than the nonfiction intimate description of the true events in Iraq. It is not only a story of  women fighting for  their liberated lifestyles. It is a story of Islamic traditions, religion, politics and power versus American lifestyle, American power and American belief.”
The Feminist Review 1.10

“Zia goes to work at the US headquarters in Baghdad, in love with an American contractor and the idea of democracy. But soon she and sister Nunu discover that women’s rights aren’t coming so fast to Iraq. A personal account that tells a much bigger story.”
Library Journal, 10.2009

Asquith’s breezy style still captures the complexities of the 2003 invasion and its aftermath. In this political and social maelstrom, Asquith finds the silver lining in small triumphs of feminism.”

Saskia Vogel blog 01.2010