Emma’s War – Deborah Scroggins

Erenst Hemingway

I picked this book up at a secondhand bookstore in Spain and read it in Mongolia (mostly Gobi Desert on a Land Rover expedition). It turned out to be fitting after all to read about that troubled regions of Sudan since (although it would be another year before I’d get to that part of Africa), during this trip, I was also tear-gassed in Ulaan Batur during what was pretty much the only riots that the city has ever seen.

The back-cover blurb is slightly misleading (and not only in that it actually misspells the name of the main character – McClune). The story is about Emma McCune, an NGO worker who married a Sudanese warlord. It is a bizarre story of love (or at least sex) and violence. But you get the impression that far from being a remarkable or particularly strong character Emma might also have been tempered with a ‘bit of the bimbo.’ A fascinating story – brilliantly written by a fine investigative journalist – and a warning to those of us who occasionally try to get just a little too deep into other cultures we can never fully understand.

I finished this book in Spain and left it on the beach at Zarautz, Basque Country. Where did it go from there…?


Kitbaggers book project – travel literature on speed.

Have you ever handled a classic paperback and wondered where it’s been and whose hands it passed through? Do you love the well-handled look of a book that’s obviously seen decades of serious mileage through places you might only have imagined?

This project was conceived long ago through a conversation (in San Jose, Costa Rica) between a group of friends who’d wondered about these same things and thought it would be interesting to try to trace the history of just a few random books that we read on the road.

More than just a review – this is also the story of a single adventurous copy that’s probably still out there touring the world somewhere. Let us know if you find it.

Like to post a review of your own…? Contact us here.




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