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Eating during Wartime: Sumptuous Stories from Annia Ciezadlo and Nathan Deuel

Even in wartime, you have to eat, and two writers tell us how they lived and dined in the Middle East at a reading at KGB.


In autumn 2003, Annia Ciezadlo moved to Beirut with her husband, Mohamad Bazzi. They then spent the next six years in both Beirut, and in Bagdad.  In Ciezadlo’s upcoming memoir Day of Honey (published Februrary 2011), she brings her political and historical perspective to the process of obtaining and preparing food during wartime, with Sunnis and Shiites alike.

In this reading, Ciezadlo reads a selection from the memoir that features her mother-in-law, a bawdy character who appears throughout her narrative.

The evening's second reader, Nathan Deuel, split his time in the Middle East between Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Sanaa, Yemen, with his wife, Kelly McEvers, an NPR correspondent.  Deuel has been an editor and contributor for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, The Village Voice, and, among others. And he's no stranger to travel:  a few years ago he walked from New York to New Orleans--over two thousand miles in five months.

 In this reading, Deuel reads two true stories about his life in the Middle East

  • ‘Night of the Gun,’ set in central Riyadh.
  • ‘Down a Dark Alley’ set in Sanaa, Yemen.  

Bon Mots

On dining during wartime: "She wanted to go downtown to the area...everyone was avoiding above all others, to have lunch."-- Annia Ciezadlo

Mohammed [a character in Deuel's narrative]  on his children "They take my kids and enroll them in summer school. When they come back they talk like little Bin Ladens. It's bulls**t."