Friday was the Bomb, by Nathan Deuel
Friday was the Bomb, by Nathan Deuel
In 2008, Nathan Deuel, a former editor at Rolling Stone and The Village Voice, and his wife, a National Public Radio foreign correspondent, moved to the deeply Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to see for themselves what was happening in the Middle East. There they had a daughter, and later, while his wife filed reports from Baghdad and Syria, car bombs erupted and one night a firefight raged outside the family's apartment in Beirut. Their marriage strained, and they struggled with the decision to stay or go home.
At once a meditation on fatherhood, an unusual memoir of a war correspondent’s spouse, and a first-hand account from the front lines of the most historic events of recent days—the Arab Spring, the end of the Iraq war, and the unrest in Syria—Friday Was The Bomb is a searing collection of timely and absorbing essays.
"Nathan Deuel is alive to the myriad contradictions of being a sentient being at this moment in history—the painful, necessary awareness that ones presence carries an entire empire in its shadow. Friday was the Bomb is about the tension between how much we want and how small we are—some will make war, the world will makes storm, and the rest of us will try to hold onto some fragile connection with each other. This is a book for the rest of us." — Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and The Ticking is the Bomb
"There is a bomb in this book — many, in fact — but it is in essence a much gentler collection of surprisingly moving moments, dispatches from the outposts of empire. Deuel records the contradictions and fleeting pleasures of the world around him with the eyes of both a journalist and a young father. That double-vision makes Friday Was The Bomb a deeply human book, unique in the library of correspondents' tales." — Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family, Sweet Heaven When I Die, and Killing the Buddha
"You could not ask for a more reliable or charming narrator to take you through these fraught experiences than Nathan Deuel. His descriptions are visceral, poignant, clear-headed, and his self-portrait disarmingly self-mocking and honest. The result is a compellingly readable book." — Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body, Portrait Inside My Head, and Waterfront
"In these flares of imagery and reportage, of introspection and observation, Nathan Deuel pulls off the considerable feat of looking both inward and outward at once. Friday Was the Bomb gives you an unforgettably and, at times, almost intolerably vivid sense of what age-old troubles like grief, politics, and love feel like at the fragile outset of the 21st century." — Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision and Utopia or Bust
"While his journalist wife was off getting the big stories of the Arab Spring, Nathan Deuel was living in the Middle East and taking careful note of the small stories of daily life—which sometimes included explosions. His book is a brilliant, beautifully-constructed story about journalism, war, fatherhood, and love." — Paul Ford
"At first glance, Nathan Deuel's Friday Was the Bomb seems to be an autobiographical account of his half-decade spent in the Middle East; in actuality, it is a sustained reflection on lostness and foundness, on fatherhood, on national ambivalence, and on the fine-grained details that make up this composite called life." — Christy Wampole
ABOUT NATHAN DEUEL
Nathan Deuel has contributed essays, fiction, and criticism to The New York Times, Financial Times, GQ, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Paris Review, Salon, Slate, Bookforum, Los Angeles Review of Books, Columbia Journalism Review, Tin House, The Atlantic, and many others. Previously, he was an editor at Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Tampa and a B.A. in Literature from Brown University, and he attended Deep Springs College. He recently moved to Los Angeles from Beirut with his wife and daughter.