Janine di Giovanni

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  • Born:
  • Nationality: American, French, British
  • Profession: Journalist, War Reporter, Author

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Africa is a very dangerous place.
Any protester knows that the only way activism works is to get the people on your side.
During war time, when people were injured, I was really frustrated I did not become a doctor. It's painful not being able to save people, witnessing their pain. Time ;War & Peace
Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life. Life ;Hope
Even as a small child, I wondered why the Dominican nuns who educated me were subservient to the Jesuit priests who educated my brothers.
Every time I went to the doctor when I was in my twenties, he repeated the same thing to me: don't wait too long to have children. Time
Every time the Catholic Church takes one step forward, it seems to take one giant step back. Time
For the first five years of Luca's life, I desperately wanted to be a good mother and not to pass on this trauma and darkness that his father and I had experienced, but there's a danger of suffocating your kids, too. Life
From the earliest age, I was just different. I think that's part of every writer's little revenge. You think, 'I'm not a blonde, blue-eyed cheerleader but I'm going to get out of here and do something.'
Full disclosure: I went to university as an eager young feminist for many reasons - to get away from my parents, to soak up literature and knowledge, to cease being a child, to expand my mind and my world. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Hats, giant shades and 60-plus sunblock are part of my summer repertoire. I don't want wrinkles, but it's skin cancer I truly fear.
Human memory is short and terribly fickle.
I did not read newspapers until I became a reporter.
I have never been embedded with the American army or, you know, with the big war machine. War & Peace
I know being pregnant and giving birth is the most wonderful thing on Earth. I know that after you have a baby, there is a sense of addiction, a need to have another. It's biological.
I love magazines. I always read 'Time,' 'Newsweek' and 'The Economist.' When I get my hair cut, French 'Vogue,' French 'Elle,' 'Paris Match' - I read them all in 10 minutes. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I never set out to be a journalist. I wanted to be a humanitarian doctor like Albert Schweitzer, working in Africa.
I often think I am a better person because I lived for many years of my life with a flashlight. I have developed skills I did not think were possible - bathing with a cup of water by candlelight, for instance, and writing a story with a headlamp on. Life
I see so many people get so wrapped up in wanting to get a bigger SUV or a bigger house. But then I think, 'My God, I could have been born a woman in the Congo.' Religion & God
I spent a good part of the nineties roaming the Earth writing about conflict. It was very grueling. I was beginning to find this way of life was, wow, addictive and deeply meaningful. Life
I'm not sure that finding a husband at university made me any less of a feminist or an academic. I still soaked up Susan Faludi; I still read Doris Lessing. But I did it at the same time I met someone who I felt was my soulmate. Time
In a very straightforward way, I am a terrible reporter. I'm not someone who can go into a story and not get involved.
In America, people know there are always 10 people better than them who are after their job. In France, they know that too - but no one is going to get their job till they go to their grave.
In Iraq during the days of Saddam, I had a government minder who followed me everywhere, reported on my activities. Government
In Pakistan, the right to go to school is not a given. In the more rural areas, a girl is born, married off as early as 9 years old, and basically lives life under the control of men. Life
In Paris, where I live, the inner neighborhoods are only available to the white elite. The poor and dispossessed are shuffled out to suburbs and never seen.
In the aftermath of any war or genocide, healing and reconciliation are ultimate aspirations. War & Peace
It can't be bad having a mother who is fulfilled by her work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is a well known urban myth that the French don't trust banks and store their money under their mattress. It's not that they are tight with money - they just don't trust anyone. Trust ;Money, Coins & Minting
It's always disappointing to come across phony do-gooders. And it's easy to scoff at celebrities working in war zones. War & Peace
It's hard for the Catholic Church to accept change. When the mass was no longer said in Latin, loyalists went into mourning for years.
Lake Como has always been a magnet for the elite.
Little changes can start to make a difference in the world.
Manhattan is increasingly less available to average-income earners.
My earliest memories are of the civil rights era. My earliest experiences were rage.
My mother came from a generation that did not want nannies. She had her first child at 24 and her last - me - at 42.
My own mother, my sister and nearly all the women in my family had full-time jobs as mothers. They were wonderful at it. They drove their children back and forth to soccer, skating lessons, piano lessons, private schools, but I sensed, even in my own mother, a kind of distant dissatisfaction. Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
No one lives on credit in France because banks don't allow overdrafts and zero percent credit cards do not exist.
Nonviolence worked in Serbia, and it can work in other countries seeking their freedom. Freedom & Liberty ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Occupy Wall Street was a disorganized movement without a clear focus and power base - essential in any successful revolution - but the message was clear: the divisions between those who are fortunate enough to enjoy city living as opposed to those who find it unbearable are too wide. Power
Once Iraq became a hot bed for kidnapping, reporters had to use every kind of trick they could manage to avoid it. This included chase cars, security men for more prosperous agencies and networks, and GPS signals on satellite phones that could pinpoint the journalist's locations.
Paris certainly needs to promote itself. Although still the most visited city in the world, it has fallen behind London and Berlin in terms of cool.
Posttraumatic stress is something that's always existed. I think that the earliest recording was during the Trojan War, but it's only recently that we're beginning to be aware of it. War & Peace
Sarajevo was this beautiful city, very cosmopolitan, multiethnic, full of wonderful people, artists and writers and poets and Serbs and Muslims and Croats, and living side by side. And then this medieval siege, and it was a medieval siege, came, and the Bosnian Serbs were on the hills lobbing in rockets and grenades and mortars.
Sibling rivalry was, and still is to this day, rampant in my family. We were all competing for my parents' divided attention. Families, Children & Parenting
Stockholm is surely an urban planner's dream. Everything works. Everything looks good.
The fact is, feminism is not what it used to be.
The pope is an intelligent man and realizes that time marches on. He says the Church has a long way to go in developing a real strategy that integrates women - but clearly he is baffled as to how to do it. Time ;Women
There are people who are seekers and people who aren't.
There is a painful joke that Europeans often tell of their Gallic neighbors: God created France, the most beautiful country in the world with so much good in it, and ended up feeling guilty about it. He had to do something to make it fair. And so, he created the French people. Religion & God
There is a romantic, often misguided, misconception among the British that life in France is akin to life in Paradise. Life ;Romantic
To be a good reporter, writing about war, you have to write about the people. It's not about the tanks or the RPGs or military strategy. It's always about the effect war has on civilians, on society, and how it disrupts and destroys lives. Society ;War & Peace
When I did a year-long study in 2005 of European countries integrating Muslims into their cultures, France came in the lowest of the rank. Sweden was not far behind, though, which is worrying, as racism in France is much closer to the bone.
When the body breaks down, it does not all go at once; it goes piece by piece.
When you write non-fiction, you sit down at your desk with a pile of notebooks, newspaper clippings, and books and you research and put a book together the way you would a jigsaw puzzle.