Dan Fesperman grew up in North Carolina and has reported for the Fayetteville, Durham Morning Herald, Charlotte News, Miami Herald and The Baltimore Sun, and worked in its Berlin bureau during the years of civil war in the former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan during the recent conflict. His travels as a writer have taken him to 30 nations and three war zones.
Fesperman's first novel, Lie in the Dark, won the Crime Writers Association of Britain's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, and The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and children.
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A Conversation with Dan Fesperman about The Prisoner of Guantanamo
You set your last novel, The Warlord's Son, in Afghanistan. Your new
novel, The Prisoner of Guantanamo, is set at the now famous prison camp. Why is
it important for you to base your fiction on current events?
I've always been fascinated by the way events in the here and now echo so much of what has gone on before. So I guess you could say that it's not just the immediacy I find attractive, it's also the timelessness. In Afghanistan, foreign empires have been blundering around for centuries, always faring worst when they're convinced they know best. How could you not be intrigued by the possibilities of exploring the way that's playing out now, right under our noses?
Guantanamo, to me at least, represents yet another period in our history when we've let hubris and insecurity push us to the limits of what is considered "American behavior." There is a side to us that, when threatened, wants to just kick ass and take names and forget about rules and rights for a while. But if you look back through history, this has always produced its own set of problems. So it was fascinating for me to offer a fictional take on some of the ...
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