By Matt McAllester

Those occasionally harrowing, usually humorous, and constantly riveting tales approximately nutrition and consuming lower than severe stipulations characteristic the varied voices of reporters who've suggested from risky clash zones around the globe in the past 20 years. A profile of the previous chef to Kim Jong Il of North Korea describes Kim's exacting criteria for gourmand fare, which he gorges himself on whereas his state starves. A journalist turns into a part of the interior circle of an IRA telephone because of his consuming friends. And a tender, green woman journalist stocks dust crab in a foxhole with an both younger Hamid Karzai.

Along with stories of deprivation and repression are tales of generosity and enjoyment, occasionally overlapping. This memorable assortment, brought and edited through Matt McAllester, is pro via tragedy and violence, spiced with humor and strong will, and fortified, in McAllester's phrases, with "a little extra humanity than we can frequently slip into our newspapers and journal stories."

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Translated through Charlotte Mandell

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Additional info for Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: Stories of Food during Wartime by the World's Leading Correspondents

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Ich setzte mich ans Steuer, berührte den Schlüssel, drehte ihn nicht. Nein, sagte ich. – Der Motor springt nicht an. Aber er lief doch grade noch? Der Anlasser ist kaputt. Ich hab's dir am Telefon erklärt. Dann bleibst du eben stehen, wo du bist. Ich dachte nach, lächerlich gemacht durch dieses Fahrzeug, das meine Aufmerksamkeit erzwang. Und doch war ich heimlich dankbar. Das Auto hatte das Gewicht einer Sache, wir brauchten nicht gleich von uns zu reden. Ich muß mich so hinstellen, daß ich morgen anrollen kann.

Das Haus hier mit den Ferienerinnerungen der Kinderzeit. Fürs erste ganz gut. Das Haus war nahe herangekommen. Ein Klötzchen hinter einem hohen, schon dürren Lebhag, in den ein Tor hineingeschnitten war. Eine zwergenhafte Holztür gab es auch, daneben tickte die Batterie des Kuhdrahtes. »Zaunkönig« stand darauf. Im Vorgärtchen waren Blumen zu ahnen, immer noch gepflegt, das Licht auf der Veranda brannte für einen Gast und doch wie für sich allein. Die dunkle Holzfarbe, Öl, schien das Licht abzustoßen.

Was war los, daß ich hinter einem Lastzug herkroch, ohne ans Überholen zu denken? Der Nebel hemmte den Schuh auf dem Gas; das Undurchsichtige zwischen den Buchenstämmen, die die Straße, den Waldweg, wie Palisaden begleiteten, rührte sich nicht, dichtete auch die linke, die Talseite ab, wo der Blick hätte frei sein müssen 55 auf Stadt, See, offenes Land. Ich starrte auf das Gelblicht, mit dem der dröhnende Transport vor mir seine Schwerfälligkeit anzeigte. Er schleppte einen Kran, und ich trödelte im zweiten Gang hinterher.

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