Lynsey Addario

It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War

“A remarkable journalistic achievement… that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Told with unflinching candor [Addario] brings an incredible sense of humanity to all the battlefields of her life.  A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific.”—Kirkus (starred review)

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a photographer when September 11th changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself. It’s What I Do follows a course unavoidable for Addario—from her first camera and the pictures it inspired, to early years as a street photographer and the inspiration she found in the work of Sebastião Salgado. Photography becomes a way for her to travel with a purpose—a singular ambition that shapes and drives her.

Addario has written a page-turner of a memoir describing her war coverage and why and how she fell into—and stayed in—such a dangerous job. -Booklist

As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boy’s club of a profession, eventually earning widespread recognition, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and a Pulitzer Prize. Refusing to turn down career-defining assignments, she puts romance and family on hold. Yet the sadness and injustice she encounters as as a conflict reporter give her a new vision for her own life, and the more she sees of the world, the greater her desires for love and family grow. It’s What I Do is also the story of how Addario met her husband and father to their child, and how as a war correspondent and a mother, she learned to live her life in two different—though hardly separate—worlds.

“[An] unflinching memoir. [Addario’s] book, woven through with images from her travels, offers insight into international events and the challenges faced by the journalists who capture them.”-Washington Post

Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.

“The opening scene of Lynsey Addario’s memoir sucker punches you like a cold hard fist. She illuminates the daily frustrations of working within the confines of what the host culture expects from a member of her sex and her constant fight for respect from her male journalist peers and American soldiers. Always she leads with her chin, whether she’s on the ground in hostile territory or discussing politics.”- Entertainment Weekly

“[A] richly illustrated memoir. [Addario] conveys well her unstated mission to stir the emotions of people like herself, born into relative security and prosperity, nudging them out of their comfort zones with visual evidence of horrors they might do something about. It is a diary of an empathetic young woman who makes understanding the wider world around her a professional calling.”- Los Angeles Times