Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Final Assignment
written by Paul Conroy
published by Weinstein Books
About the book: Zero Dark Thirty meets 127 Hours — Under the Wire is a riveting war journal from photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanied Marie Colvin (called by her peers “the greatest war correspondent of her generation”) during her ill-fated final assignment in Syria.
Marie Colvin, the internationally recognized American foreign-war correspondent who was killed in a rocket attack in 2012 while reporting on the suffering of civilians inside Syria, was renowned for her flair and her fearlessness: wearing the pearls that were a gift from Yasser Arafat and her black eye patch, she reported from dangerous places no other hard-core correspondent would dare to go. Paul Conroy, who had forged a close bond with Colvin as they put their lives on the line time and lime again to report from the world’s conflict zones, was with her when she died. Under the Wire is Paul’s gripping, visceral, and moving account of their friendship and the final year he spent alongside her.
When Marie and Paul were smuggled into Syria by rebel forces, they found themselves trapped in one of the most hellish neighborhoods on earth. Fierce barrages of heavy artillery fire rained down on the buildings surrounding them, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians. The rocket that killed Marie blew a hole in Paul’s thigh big enough to put his hand through. Bleeding profusely, short of food and water, and in excruciating pain, Paul then endured five days of intense bombardment before being evacuated in a daring escape in which he rode a motorbike through a tunnel, crawled through enemy terrain, and finally scaled a 12-foot-high wall.
Astonishingly vivid, heart-stoppingly dramatic and shot through with dark humor, Under the Wire shows what it means to be a war reporter in the twenty-first century. Paul Conroy’s story is about two brave people drawn together by a shared compulsion to bear witness.
Praise for Under the Wire.
“Colvin devoted her life — and gave her life — for the proposition that the truth of history demands witnesses. Her death, like that of so many others, is yet another reminder, as if any more were needed, that experience in the field is no shelter from disaster.”
— David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Paul’s experience is a chilling testimony to what families in Homs are experiencing. We need renewed focus on humanitarian support and to put an end to violence.”
— Tom Fletcher, British ambassador to Lebanon
About the author: Paul Conroy, author of Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Last Assignment, is a former British soldier. As a photographer and filmmaker whose work spans 15 years, he has reported on the conflicts in Iraq, Congo, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria.