Kim Barker is not your typical foreign correspondent. Raised in Montana, at thirty she had barely been overseas, spoke only English, and knew little about Islam and even less about Osama Bin Laden. But none of that would stop her from heading to Afghanistan and Pakistan to cover the fallout from 9/11. When she arrives, Kim makes all sorts of mistakes - from eating toxic sushi, to forgetting her money on her first trip to Kabul - but soon she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter, with grave concerns about the ability of US might to win hearts and minds in the region. As she moves between conflict zones, Kim offers a close-up account of the war, and of the people at its heart, finding humour and humanity amid the rubble and the heartbreak. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot captures the absurdity and tragedy of our modern wars, and gives us an unlikely but unforgettable heroine for our times.
Kim Barker grew up in Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon, and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. She worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, for four years, and The Seattle Times for two years, winning awards for her investigative reporting. In 2001, at age 30, she joined the Chicago Tribune, and began making reporting trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan the next year. Barker was the Tribune's South Asia bureau chief from 2004 to 2009. She was then awarded the Council on Foreign Relations' Edward R. Murrow press fellowship to study Afghanistan and Pakistan. She now lives in New York City, where she works as a reporter at ProPublica.