Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Angel of Groznyj - Asne Seierstad

In this decade-old book, my favourite Norwegian investigative reporter - the competition may not be exactly fierce, but still! - recounts her travels in the ravages of post-war Chechnya. 

The angel of the title is the head of an unofficial orphanage (orphanages being banned, as Putin claims there are no orphans in Chechnya) and the life-stories told are those of people surrounding her; stray children, deported seniors, mutilated soldiers, outcasts, childless mothers... 
Seierstad, however, would not be what she is if she hadn't also sought to question people from the other side of the social spectrum; ministers, government officials, racist skinheads and their likes.

As per usual, her writing is well-informed, intelligent, articulate, inspired and inspiring.

I also warmly recommend her book on Anders Breivik, the terrorist of the 2011 Utöya shooting.

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