Beyond Literary Landscapes—Journalistic Writing, Part II

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Journalistic Writing, Part II

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This is the second part of my look at the wide-ranging Journalism genre, and will primarily focus on two major late journalists, namely Ryszard Kapuściński and Anna Politkovskaya, who may serve as an introduction to Journalism in general, a reminder for fans, and an inspiration for further reading.

Students interested in further reads in this genre, may pursue the writings of last week’s featured journalists, including Alma Guillermoprieto, Eduardo Galeano, Gabriel García Márquez, and Joan Didion.  For those interested in more local and more recent journalism, consider Desmond Cole and Robert D.  Kaplan.


As defined last week, Journalism is a wide-ranging topic, which can include war correspondents, foreign correspondents, columnists, and reporters.  Some classics in this genre include Kapuściński’s The Emperor, Shah of Shahs, and Imperium, as well as Politkovskaya’s Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, A Russian Diary, and Putin’s Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy. 

More recent works include Cole’s The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power.  Other well-known books include Robert D.  Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History.


Although from different parts of the world, including the US-Russia and Poland, these two journalists combined have covered a wide range of geographical locations, including the former Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ethiopia, Iran, and beyond.


These works mainly take place during 20th and 21st-centuries, from 1917 onwards, with a particular focus on the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.


For readers interested in learning more about global history, politics, and economics, including life under the former Soviet Union, Russian politics, the ongoing Chechen conflict, Haile Selassie I the former Emperor of Ethiopia, and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah of Iran, the works of these two journalists are a start.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it effortless to study this topic in depth.  Courses loosely related to Journalism are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with a counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this particular topic are recommended to visit HIST 210: A History of the World in the 20th Century, a three-credit, junior-level course, which introduces learners to “the major economic, political, social, scientific, and technological developments in post–Second World War history.”  Happy reading!