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The Devil Is a Black Dog : Stories from the Middle East and Beyond
by Sandor Jaszberenyi and M. Henderson Ellis


Overview - In the nineteen extraordinary stories that comprise The Devil Is a Black Dog and Other Stories , writer and photojournalist Sandor Jaszberenyi shows us the human side of war and revolution in the contemporary Middle East and Africa, and of the social upheaval that has held Eastern Europe in its grip since the fall of communism.  Read more...

 
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More About The Devil Is a Black Dog by Sandor Jaszberenyi; M. Henderson Ellis
 
 
 
Overview
In the nineteen extraordinary stories that comprise The Devil Is a Black Dog and Other Stories, writer and photojournalist Sandor Jaszberenyi shows us the human side of war and revolution in the contemporary Middle East and Africa, and of the social upheaval that has held Eastern Europe in its grip since the fall of communism. Characters contemplate the meaning of home, love, despair, family, and friendship against the backdrop of brutality. From Cairo to the Gaza Strip, from Benghazi to Budapest, religious men have their faith challenged, and people under the duress of war or traumatic personal memories deal with the feelings that emerge. Often they seem to suppress these feelings . . . but, no, not quite.

Set in countries the author has reported from or lived in, these stories are all told from different perspectives, but always with the individual at the center: the mother, the soldier, the martyr, the religious man, the journalist, and so on. They form a kaleidoscope of miniworlds, of moments, of decisions that together put a face, an emotion, a thought behind humans who confront war and conflict. Although they are fiction, they could have all happened exactly as they are told. Each story leaves a powerful visual image, an unforgettable image you conjure up again and again.

Jaszberenyi is able to do all this so convincingly, in part, because he himself is not a "helicopter journalist" but rather lives in a residential Cairo neighborhood. He is, moreover, from a corner of Eastern Europe where cynicism almost equates with survival, and yet his writing evinces not only wry humor but great sensitivity and a profound sense of beauty. He speaks Arabic (in addition to English and his native Hungarian) and immerses himself in the society he reports on. But, in doing so, he still remains a reporter, and as such the stories are approached with the clinical, observant eye of an outsider. Whether addressing the contradictions of international humanitarian work or the moral dilemmas faced by those who seek to improve the health and lives of women and girls, he does so in a singularly provocative and yet intelligent manner.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780990004325
  • ISBN-10: 0990004325
  • Publisher: New Europe Books
  • Publish Date: December 2014
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > War & Military
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-09-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

This impressive debut collection of 19 stories comes from Jászberényi, a Hungarian news correspondent who has covered the conflicts in Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The book employs minimalist prose and, in several of the stories, the recurring protagonist Daniel Marosh, an ill-fated, sardonic war journalist. In “The Strongest Knot,” Marosh reveals that he is a chronic insomniac due to problems with his adulterous wife who has blocked his visitations with their child. “The Dead Ride Fast” finds Marosh covering the political revolution in Cairo, where he bumps into an old colleague and kindred spirit, the German photographer Sahra Gamalt. In “Something About the Job” an older, crankier Marosh is told by his boss that his subpar work makes him expendable unless he is willing to show a promising young photojournalist the ropes on assignment in Chad. The other standout tales, such as the unsettling and darkly comedic “The Desert Is Cold In the Morning” and “How We Didn’t Win,” demonstrate the range of Jászberényi’s storytelling talents. (Dec.)

 
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