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War Born

Growing up in New Jersey, Janine di Giovanni had to get out. So she went to Chechnya and the Balkans.

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‘When I found out I was pregnant, the doctor told me that I was banned from going to Afghanistan and Iraq,” says war reporter Janine di Giovanni, who’s spent fifteen years filing from the Middle East, the Balkans, Chechnya, and Africa. It was just as well, because while cooling her heels in London, Di Giovanni discovered she needed (minor) surgery. “My doctor said, ‘Okay, now we are going to chain you to Notting Hill.’ ” The bedridden Di Giovanni—due in three months—will have to miss the U.S. launch of Madness Visible, her intense account of ten years of horror in the former Yugoslavia. But the Times of London correspondent plans to continue her travels—baby in tow—giving her child an upbringing worlds away from her own in affluent Caldwell, New Jersey. “All my life I knew I wanted to get out. Otherwise I’d end up married to a cardiologist and playing golf.” Instead, Di Giovanni once came to the attention of Playboy, which asked her to pose as its first journalist centerfold. “I refused,” she says, laughing. “My career would have gone down the tubes—or I would have been hired by network television.”


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