Baghdad Burning

+ Longlisted for the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2006


+ New £7.99 trade edition AVAILABLE NOW, ISBN 0-7145-3130-8

+ Shortlisted for the Index on Censorship Award 2006

+ Awarded third prize and 20 000 Euros in the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Reportage 2005

'Her commanding gift for observation, her intelligence and her extraordinary language skills make her account of the life of a normal Iraqi family... one of the most uniquely critical documents of life in this abused country under the conditions of the war and the US military occupation.' LETTRE ULYSSEES

+ Extracted in The Sunday Times 2 April 2006

+ Extracted in The Guardian Weekend Magazine 18 June 2005

+ Extracted in The Yorkshire Post 20 June 2005

+ Featured on

For Sale: A fertile, wealthy country with a population of around 25 million…plus around 150,000 foreign troops, and a handful of puppets. Conditions of sale: should be either an American or British corporation. Please contact one of the members of the Governing Council in Baghdad, Iraq, for more information.'

In her riveting weblog, a remarkable young Iraqi woman gives a human face to war and occupation. On the 24th of September, 2003, the above entry was posted onto a weblog by an anonymous 25 year old female using the pseudonym ‘Riverbend’. In this hard-hitting journal, she describes the day-to-day realities of life in post-war Iraq, which for her family and neighbours means regular power-cuts, bombings, kidnappings and night-time raids by US soldiers. Including diary entries covering the release of the torture pictures of Abu Ghraib and Bush’s State of the Union Speech as well as a more critical analysis of key players during the war and in its aftermath, Baghdad Burning offers a highly personal narrative on life since the US occupation that is at once disturbing and insightful.

With thousands of loyal readers worldwide, the Riverbend blog is recognized around the world as a crucial source of information not available through the mainstream media.

Riverbend was educated at Baghdad University and worked for a large computer company in Baghdad before the war. She continues to update her journal, found at She prefers to remain anonymous.

'Feisty and learned: first rate reading for any American who suspects that Fox News may not be telling the whole story.' Kirkus Reviews, 2 May 2005

'passionate, frustrated, sarcastic and sometimes hopeful offers quick takes on events ...from a perspective too often overlooked, ignored or surpressed.' Publishers Weekly, 7 February 2005

'a cross between an underground manifesto and a polished cultural history... With its blend of first-person mouthing off and spirited documentary style, Baghdad Burning offers fair and balanced coverage from inside one of the most rapidly changing - and poorly understood - regions in the world.' Time Out New York, 28 April 2005

'Highly recommended to anyone following the conflict' Library Journal (starred review), 1 April 2005

To read an extract from this title click here

Price: £7.99
Format: Paperback, 310 pp
ISBN: 0-7145-3130-8
Publication date: 27 March 2006