Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo
“What a debut! It's not often one reads a book of reportage from a difficult foreign country with such fever-dream immediacy, such tense intelligence, and such an artful gift for story-telling. Here is a commanding new writer who comes to us with the honesty, the intensity, and the discerning curiosity of the young Naipaul.”
—Pico Iyer, author of The Lady and the Monk and The Man Within My Head
"Sundaram explores the other he might have been with great talent."
—Stephen Smith, The Guardian
"An excellent debut book of reportage on the Congo."
—Fareed Zakaria, CNN
"A remarkable book about the lives of people in Congo."
—Jon Stewart, Daily Show
“Perceptive…part travel memoir, part meditation on the unknown and ignored…the writer Sundaram most reminds me of is Teju Cole…meditative and closely observant…perceptive and intensely self-analytical…The stringer has earned his stripes.”
—Magnus Taylor, Royal African Society
"A sensitive writer. He feels deeply and expresses himself richly... a powerful evocation of the foreign correspondent's experience."
—Tristan McConnell, The Times
"Elegantly written. Sundaram’s chronicling of ordinary life, rather than extraordinary death, dignifies his journalistic endeavour."
—Colin Freeman, The Telegraph
"[Sundaram] has made gold out of... embracing the vulnerability one feels as a story unfolds. He uses moments of his own confusion or ignorance to illuminate the people and places around him."
—Jina Moore, Columbia Journalism Review
"Sundaram bounces in and out of precarious situations like Pip in an African version of Great Expectations... This is a book about a young journalist's coming of age, and a wonderful book it is, too."
—Ted Koppel, former Nightline anchor, NPR Books
"Sundaram is a gifted young writer. He has an acute eye and writes beautifully."
“Anjan Sundaram’s prose is so luscious, whether he’s writing about mathematics or colonial architecture or getting mugged, that the words come alive and practically dance on the page. Stringer is a first book, about a year-long journey to Congo; reading it made me feel like I’d follow him anywhere in the world.”
—Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
“In lucid and searing prose, and with bracing self-awareness, Anjan Sundaram explores a country that has long been victimized by the ever-renewed greeds of the modern world. Stringer is one of those very rare books of journalism that transcend their genre—and destiny as ephemera—and become literature.”
—Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire and Temptations of the West
“Stringer is an extraordinary work of reportage. Anjan Sundaram is the Indian successor to Kapuscinski.”
—Basharat Peer, author of Curfewed Night
"With an incisive intellect and senses peeled raw, Sundaram takes us on a mesmerizing journey through the vibrant shambles of modern Congo. This is that rare work of reportage that achieves true literary greatness, and it can stand proudly next to V.S. Naipaul or Ryszard Kapuscinski."
—Richard Grant, author of God's Middle Finger
“Original, startling, and compelling… remarkable… Sundaram excels at describing the moments of unfathomable tedium, petty crime, and long stretches of solitude. These moments, beautifully rendered, draw back the curtain on the making of foreign news… The scenes are vivid, the prose muscular. Sundaram paints vast emotional landscapes that he would never have been able to squeeze into a wire report…a testament to the importance of longform journalism, and books in general.”"
—Jared Malsin, The Revealer
"Congo, with all its mystery, its beauty, its darkness its poverty, its wealth, its warmth and its violence came alive under the pen of this debutante author... As the book races towards the finish, you wonder whether you were reading a fascinating fictional drama set in a troubled land but you realize it's all too true and that's what makes this book quite scary and yet beautiful."
"A fascinating, breathtaking work of reporting and introspection from a writer whose next work will be eagerly awaited."
—Time Out Mumbai
"Impressive narrative... [Sundaram] skillfully captures the smallest details of life in a destitute land, blending the sordid history of Congo with his battle to forge a career in a troubled and forsaken country."
"The authenticity is palpable."
"A breathtaking look at a troubled nation exploited by greedy forces within and without."
—American Library Association
"Books by journalists usually keep the focus outward, but Sundaram has more of a novelist's interior sensibility and a talent for describing anxiety and ennui. Readers may be tempted to compare him to Conrad and Naipaul, but he has a strong, unique style all his own."
"Addictive, informative, and fast-paced... Fans of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers will find much to like."
—Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore
"This is reportage in its most excellent form: immediate, informative, and riveting."
—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books
The Times, The Perennial Outsider
The Revealer, War, Tedium, Loneliness
The Guardian, Exploring the Other
African Arguments, The Stringer has Earned his Stripes
The Telegraph, A Place Not Quite as Wretched
CNN, Fareed Zakaria, Excellent Reportage
The Daily Beast, A Remarkable Debut
NPR Books, Finding Your Feet in the Chaos of Congo
Columbia Journalism Review, Upsides to 'I'
Publishers Weekly, Stringer
Library Journal, Living Large
NY Journal of Books, A Unique Superb Piece of Journalism
Biographile, Expect the Unexpected in Stringer
Time Out, A Reporter’s Bloody Tale of Congo
Kirkus, Stringer by Anjan Sundaram
India Today Travel, Congo Calling
The Telegraph Calcutta, Beyond Horror
CNN India, Stringer Impresses from the Word Go
The Dawn Pakistan, Review of Stringer
Business Standard, Inside the Heart of Darkness
DNA newspaper, Book review of Stringer