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The Distance Between Usby Masha Hamilton
"[An] exciting novel....we're left thinking about the human tragedy rather than the political scorecard...[Hamilton is] determined to plumb the conflicted motives of people who rush to see danger in the world or in their newspaper. The result is a powerful portrayal of religious warfare and an unsettling challenge to anyone watching." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
Caddie Blair feels everything strongly — and so she works hard to keep her distance. It's the ethical thing for a journalist to do, especially in a war-torn region like the Middle East. And Caddie wants to believe that nothing is as important as covering "the story."
There's room for passion in her life — but that's only physical. And Caddie keeps even those fleeting attachments under wraps, secretive, because she knows that when a journalist even appears to lose her detachment, she is already lost.
So what is Caddie to feel when her lover dies beside her — shot in an ambush on the way to the next promising political interview, across the Israeli border into Lebanon?
An authentic look at the emotional and ethical chaos within a war correspondent who becomes a bit too involved, Masha Hamilton's The Distance Between Us is a straight-ahead story of human passion — desire, conviction, and the guilt of a survivor — struggling for order within the frayed justice of the Middle East conflict.
A seasoned journalist herself, Masha Hamilton brings to this revealing novel the sharp eye and deep empathy that marked her debut, Staircase of a Thousand Steps (BlueHen, 2001). Beautifully turned, and peopled with an astounding cast of characters who are as true as they are perceptive, The Distance Between Us is finally the portrait of one woman's search for the narrow pass between vengeance and emotional survival, when her only true attachment has been torn away from her.
"If we knew where we were going to fall," the novel's most enigmatic character tells her, "we could spread straw."
"[S]harply etched, emotionally ferocious....This is an affecting, viscerally charged work that offers no easy moral answers." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Hamilton...has crafted a compelling tale of reprisal and endurance with a rich cast of characters. With prose both beguiling and elegant, the story will strike a chord in readers following current events in the Middle East." Library Journal
"Hamilton not only captures the conflicted feelings of journalists but also the conflicted feelings of those living in the middle of the violence....Punchy dialogue and prose style turn this introspective look at violence and loss into a page-turner." Booklist
"Thoughtfully written but emotionally distant and overly cerebral." Kirkus Reviews
"The Distance Between Us is believable, the characters multi-faceted, and the plot engaging from first page to last....[A] winner..." Midwest Book Review
"Hamilton's graceful prose, her ability to evoke the setting and her realistic portrayal of a journalist make the book interesting reading." Seattle Times
"The Distance Between Us works well on so many levels. The plotting is flawless. The pacing is just right — sometimes reflective, sometimes action-packed. Hamilton is an accomplished stylist as well..." Denver Post
"What a powerful, intense, beautifully written story. Masha Hamilton takes us right into the brutal heart of the war zone, right into the guarded heart of journalist Caddie Blair. With spare and stunning prose, Hamilton reminds us that the distance between us often isn't as great as we may think." Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds, winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change
"Bravo to Masha Hamilton. Her superb new novel, The Distance Between Us, captures the life and drama of a female war correspondent?the danger, the romance, the detachment, the intensity of the friendships and the ever-present question of what is real life and what is escape. Writing with uncommon elegance and humorous insight, Hamilton draws deftly on her own experience as a foreign correspondent to make the world of first-class news reporters come alive." Ann Blackman, journalist and author of Wild Rose: Rose O'Neale Greenhow, Civil War Spy
This beautifully timed novel is the heartfelt story of a war correspondent who loses her lover and her detachment in one tragic moment within a seemingly endless conflict.
About the Author
For ten years, Masha Hamilton worked as a foreign correspondent overseas, first for the Associated Press in the Middle East and then as a Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She also wrote a newspaper column from Moscow and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio. Masha covered the intefadeh, the peace process, and the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Later, she reported on the coup and collapse of the Soviet Union and the growing independence in Soviet republics as well as Kremlin politics. She reported from Afghanistan in the spring of 2004. She currently lives with her family in New York City, where she teaches for Gotham Writers' Workshop. The Distance Between Us is her second novel. Her first, Staircase of a Thousand Steps, was a Book Sense 76 Pick and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
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