Arnon Grunberg

US Army


While I was on the train from Wuppertal to Berlin my mother was discharged from the hospital.
I’m not sure if she was happy to be back home, my mother loves the understatement and the complaint.
Tonight, the handsome and passionate owner of the bookstore Buchladen Bayerischer Platz asked me about the German background of my parents. I told her where my mother had lived in Berlin.
Then a fairly young man had some questions about embedded journalism. (Perhaps unavoidable given the subject of my novel “The Man without Illness.”)
He said: “To be embedded with the US Army in Iraq is like going on a Disney tour isn’t it? An 80-year-old grandfather can do it.”
I was reminded of the lawyers I’d met on Gitmo. They would call the tour for journalists on Gitmo “the Disney-tour”, but Iraq was different.
“Eh,” I answered, “I’ve never seen an 80-year-old journalist being embedded with the US army in Iraq, but maybe I just missed this grandfather.”

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