Writers like to keep a clear line between fact and fiction, maintaining a wide berth between reporting and creative writing. But what happens when a journalist writes a novel about journalism? Especially when she writes a book about a 33- year-old female journalist in Iraq, just after the fall of Saddam Hussein, when she herself was a 33-year-old female journalist covering the same story?

In order to write Baghdad Fixer, author Ilene Prusher used two separate desks: her “work” desk, where she continued her daily work as a reporter for a variety of publications, including as Arab affairs reporter for The Jerusalem Post; and her “fiction” desk, a separate piece of furniture. The latter was where Prusher culled her own experiences from covering a dramatic part of Iraq’s history for The Christian Science Monitor in 2003 and reshaped them into a riveting novel.

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