New York Times Iraq correspondent Dexter Filkins will be writing a book about his experience covering terrorism in the Middle East. Filkins’ agent Amanda Urban at ICM completed the deal on June 6 with Knopf.
“It’ll be less a reported book than a Dispatches,” Urban said by phone of Filkins’ proposal, referring to Michael Herr’s seminal account of the Vietnam war. “Dexter’s book will be more impressionistic. He’s covered terrorism in one place or another for nine years. He’s watched the Twin Towers fall, he’s been in Afghanistan and Iraq. It will be a recounting of those experiences…It’s no secret that a lot of Iraq books haven’t succeeded. The idea here is to write a book that will be an evergreen, that will rise above just an account of the war.”
Filkins was in New York last week meeting with publishers before returning to Iraq on Sunday, three days before American forces killed Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
In September, Filkins will leave the Times‘ Baghdad bureau and begin a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, where he will write his book. Knopf editor Jonathan Segal, who bought the proposal for six figures, didn’t return a call seeking comment. Urban declined to comment on the advance.