WAR REPORTER FOR THE “NEW YORK TIMES”
NYS Writers Institute, October 16, 2008
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assmebly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Dexter Filkins, prize-winning war correspondent for the “New York Times,” will discuss his new book “The Forever War” (2008), on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and are free and open to the public.
Dexter Filkins, prize-winning war correspondent for the “New York Times,” is a major contributor to America’s understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jeffrey Goldberg of the “New Yorker” has called him “the preeminent war correspondent of my generation,” and the late David Halberstam praised him for “reporting of the highest quality imaginable.” Filkins is also famous within his field for risking life and limb in order to report the war “at boots level.”
His first book, “The Forever War” (2008), based on his reportage for the “Times,” is an epic account of America’s current wars in the Middle East, including Afghanistan where he covered the rise of the Taliban prior to the outbreak of the Second Iraq War. Filkins offers a compassionate, precise, frequently poetic depiction of the carnage and misery that have consumed the region during the last ten years.
Robert Stone, writing on the front page of the “New York Times Book Review” called the new work, “Stunning...it is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the ‘culture’ of a war...This unforgettable narrative [represents]...a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war’s history.” Elissa Schappell said in “Vanity Fair,” “Dexter Filkins’s ‘The Forever War,’ brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic.”
Filkins is perhaps best-known for his courageous month-long coverage of street-by-street fighting between Iraqi insurgents and U. S. Marines during the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004. Writing in “Slate” magazine, Jack Schafer said, “War correspondents decide when they want to face death and when they want to retreat to the rear echelon, where safety and the comforts of three hots and a cot reside…. But the reporter who walks side-by-side with Marines taking a city an inch at a time, as ‘New York Times’ reporter Dexter Filkins did this month during the battle of Fallujah, owes nobody an apology, not even the man walking point.”
Filkins is a past winner of the George Polk Award for War Reporting, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a recent recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. Before serving as Baghdad correspondent for the “New York Times,” Filkins worked on the paper’s “Foreign Desk,” served as Istanbul Bureau Chief, and covered the mayor’s office and the Bronx for the New York City “Metro Desk.” Prior to joining the “Times,” he served as the New Delhi bureau chief for the “L. A. Times.”
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.