Friday, October 10, 2008

LECTURE- Asne Seierstad: The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, New York, 10/23

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

LECTURE- Asne Seierstad: The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, 10/23

Posted by: Almut Rochowanski <>

October 23, 2008:

Book Talk: Asne Seierstad's "The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War"

A Chechnya Advocacy Network/Harriman Institute Event

Room 1219
International Affairs Building
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York

Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad has reported on the conflict in
Chechnya from its very beginning. She traveled in disguise and at
great risk to herself to the region while working as a foreign
correspondent in Moscow during the early days of the war in 1995. For
The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War (Basic Books 2008),
Seierstad decided to return to Chechnya and spent two years living
undercover there to try to understand what life was like under the
startlingly brutal conditions in this beleaguered region, a society
traumatized by constant violence and disorder. Seierstad focuses
particular attention on the orphans and children who suffer from this
forgotten war. From 1994 to the present, twenty-five thousand children
in Chechnya have lost one or both parents.

These orphans of Chechnya have grown up surrounded by war and
accustomed to violence. Some are homeless. Some have already become
young criminals. Some may grow up to join the resistance and
contribute to the violence that continues to grip their society. The
"Angel" of the title is a Chechen woman who started taking in homeless
and abandoned children to create a makeshift orphanage. Seierstad asks
the most vital question: What will happen when these children try to
shape the future of Chechnya? It is the first book that takes a close,
inside look at Chechen society after the wars. The book documents a
society that is shattered, ailing and scared. Unlike most books on
Chechnya, the author, who spent a lot of time in Chechnya undercover
as a Chechen woman, extensively covers the lives of Chechen women. The
Angel of Grozny also features some of the most perceptive and
revealing coverage of the new regime of Ramzan Kadyrov.

In The Angel of Grozny, Seierstad has written both a valuable personal
account and an informative history. She lived amid the violence, and
even came under fire herself. But she also interviewed and had
first-hand encounters, with both the children of Chechnya and the
decision-makers in Grozny, the capital city. This combination has
produced a powerful and important example of literary reporting at its
best. Read recent reviews by the International Herald Tribune and the
Christian Science Monitor.

Asne Seierstad is an award-winning journalist who has reported from
such war-torn regions as Chechnya, China, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and
Iraq. She is the author of "A Hundred and One Days" as well as "The
Bookseller of Kabul", an international bestseller that has been
translated into 38 languages.

Almut Rochowanski
Coordinator, Programs and Advocacy
Chechnya Advocacy Network
(1) 212 459 9363
(1) 646 467 0637 (mobile)

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