Penguin £8.99 (367pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad, By Bee Rowlatt and May Witwit
Friday 12 February 2010
Written as email exchanges between a BBC World Service journalist ensconced in the middle-class haven of North London and a beleagured Iraqi academic (and Chaucer expert) in Baghdad, this could have been a lazy format for a book in our blogosphere age.
Yet the correspondence - begun in 2005 when Bee Rowlatt emails May Witwit in an attempt to gain professional insight into the lives of ordinary Iraqi's who have been blighted by the invasion and ensuing occupation - turns into what appears to be a true and deep friendship - despite their differences (one dodges bombs, the other struggles with the work-life balance)including its tenderness, disputes, and a movingly happy ending.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 2 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Syd Barrett's inner visions
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Simon Cowell 'feels like an idiot' after Jules and Matisse scandal
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers