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Sunday, 25 March 2007

Anthony Loyd

I've just finished "My War Gone By, I Miss It So" by Anthony Loyd and am feeling that minor sense of loss one gets when you close the cover on a book you have loved. Were it not the property of my colleague I would be inclined to immediately reread. Had my breath knocked clean away by its incredible honesty and inspired prose. Most commentators seem to agree that Loyd is one of the best war correspondents of his generation, I'm no expert but certainly I've never read anything about conflict that comes close in terms of immediacy, elegance and intelligence. Most recently he's been writing amazing pieces for the Times from Afghanistan. This is his 1999 book based on his time in Bosnia during the Balkan conflict, aswell as his struggle with heroin addiction. Beautifully written and confronts you with impossible questions on every page. It did make me wonder what the point of learning about Hitler at school was, pretending it was HISTORY, when there was genocide and ethnic cleansing going on within Europe while we sat in our classrooms thinking things had changed. I'm ashamed to say I had no idea about the true horror of what happened in Bosnia until reading this.

Loyd has a new book out, "Another Bloody Love Letter", and I was lucky enough to hear him speak at the Frontline Club on Thursday night. Fairly soon you should be able to watch the video of the event on their website, well worth a look.

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