Waiting for an Ordinary Day

The Unraveling of Life in Iraq

Regular Price $17.99

Regular Price $22.99 CAD

Regular Price $17.99

Regular Price $22.99 CAD

Also Available From:

Buy Now:

On Sale

Sep 9, 2008

Page Count

368 Pages




Since 2003, Iraq’s bloody legacy has been well-documented by journalists, historians, politicians, and others confounded by how Americans were seduced into the war. Yet almost no one has spoken at length to the constituency that represents Iraq’s last best hope for a stable country: its ordinary working and middle class.

Farnaz Fassihi, The Wall Street Journal‘s intrepid senior Middle East correspondent, bridges this gap by unveiling an Iraq that has remained largely hidden since the United States declared their “Mission Accomplished.” Fassihi chronicles the experience of the disenfranchised as they come to terms with the realities of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In an unforgettable portrait of Iraqis whose voices have remained eerily silent — from art gallery owners to clairvoyants, taxi drivers to radicalized teenagers — Fassihi brings to life the very people whose goodwill the U.S. depended upon for a successful occupation. Haunting and lyrical, Waiting for An Ordinary Day tells the long-awaited story of post-occupation Iraq through native eyes.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


Kirkus, June 15, 2008
“[A] highly personal, deeply disturbing report…. Fassihi’s reporting on the bloody conflict between Sunnis and Shiites and of the rival Shiite factions is enlightening, as is the account of her experiences as a Muslim woman working as a journalist in an increasingly fundamentalist society…. Fassihi’s passionate reporting is certain to stir controversy.”
Booklist, starred review, September 1, 2008
“As the senior Wall Street Journal Middle East correspondent, Fassihi is more than credible in her candid assessment of the U.S. invasion of Iraq…. Through her careful collection of interviews and investigations, readers finally understand how the occupation became a war fought by multiple factions…. This is not politics, but reportage written, at least, in a way that anyone, regardless of national origin, can understand.”
Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2008
“[Fassihi] dissects the convoluted conflicts and connections that closely bind the two major religious groups jockeying for control in the occupied land.”
Geraldine Brooks, author of Nine Parts of Desire, People of the Book , and the Pulitzer Prize winning novel March
“Of all the fine, brave books that have been written about the Iraq debacle, this is the indispensable one. The Wall Street Journal's outspoken Iraq correspondent, Farnaz Fassihi has a reporter's eye, a humanist's heart, and a fierce identification with the people she was assigned to cover. This is not a book about military tactics or political blunders, but of the effects of these things on ordinary Iraqi lives. Heartbreaking and resonant, Fassihi's work makes her a worthy successor to the great war correspondent Martha Gellhorn in understanding that ‘War happens to people, one by one.’”
Rory Stewart, author of The Places In Between
“Farnaz Fassihi's book is an astonishing insight into ordinary life in modern Iraq. Very few foreign journalists can equal her contact with, knowledge of, and empathy for individual Iraqis and their families. She patiently describes private lives and local pain. Her descriptions expose much of what is glib and inadequate in our analysis and policy. Waiting for an Ordinary Day is a very important contribution to our understanding of the experience of occupation.”
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Powerful...[T]he volume's intimate portraits of ordinary Iraqis, combined with its forthright account of what it was like to be a reporter covering the war, leave us with a devastating sense of the fallout that the American invasion and occupation have had on civilians' daily lives…. What [Fassihi’s] book does—and does with visceral immediacy—is convey what life was like in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the invasion.”
Providence Journal, September 30, 2008
"An extraordinary, succinctly written book.
Newark Star-Ledger, October 5, 2008
“[Waiting for an Ordinary Day] gives voice to those whose everyday lives were altered forever by [the Iraq War]. It is the best of the Iraq books because it makes clear what we have done.”

Chris Toensing, The Nation, November 3, 2008
“The greatest strength of [Waiting for an Ordinary Day] lies in the vivid portrayal of the impact of the invasion and occupation on Iraqis, not only the toll of death and displacement but also the damage to the social fabric and the dislodging of the soul.”

Read More Read Less