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Fresh out of college and passionate about photography, Deborah Copaken Kogan moved to Paris in 1988 and began knocking on photo agency doors, begging to be given a photojournalism assignment. Within weeks she was on the back of a truck in Afghanistan, the only woman—and the only journalist—in a convoy of mujahideen, the rebel “freedom fighters” at the time. She had traveled there with a handsome but dangerously unpredictable Frenchman, and the interwoven stories of their relationship and the assignment set the pace for Shutterbabe’s six chapters, each covering a different corner of the globe, each linked to a man in Kogan’s life at the time.
From Zimbabwe to Romania, from Russia to Haiti, Kogan takes her readers on a heartbreaking yet surprisingly hilarious journey through a mine-strewn decade, seamlessly blending her personal battles—sexism, battery, life-threatening danger—with the historical ones—wars, revolution, unfathomable suffering—it was her job to record.
“Shutterbabe zooms in on passionate self-discovery.”
“Eloquent and well observed, not only about the memoirist, but about the world: war, death, photojournalism and, of course, the worldwide battle between the sexes.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“A candid account of one woman’s attempt to claim the spoils of the American feminist revolution under trying circumstances: alone, abroad, practicing an art that fosters machismo and thrusts her into the midst of the most paternalistic cultures in the world.”
“Shutterbabe, like all good war stories, is flashy and exciting, but it also tells the story of a tender-hearted woman who traded war’s excitement for that of family life.”
—The New York Times Book Review