Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe' Foreign correspondent Neil MacFarquhar writes about a world he knows well — war- reporting in the Middle East — in a debut novel, The Sand Cafe. He tells Liane Hansen what it's like to go from hard news to fiction.
NPR logo

Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5332780/5332826" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe'

Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe'

Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5332780/5332826" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Neil MacFarquhar's first novel is set against the 1991 Gulf War. Perseus Books Group hide caption

toggle caption
Perseus Books Group

Foreign correspondent Neil MacFarquhar writes about a world he knows well -- war reporting in the Middle East -- in a debut novel, The Sand Cafe. The book follows the sometimes surreal and circus-like atmosphere of foreign correspondents holed up in a Saudi Arabian hotel, waiting for action during the 1991 Gulf War. MacFarquhar was an Associated Press reporter when that war broke out, and has spent a dozen years as a Middle East reporter, including five years as Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times. He tells Liane Hansen what it's like to go from hard news to fiction.

Books Featured In This Story