Gerry Hadden is a former monk-in-training-turned-NPR-correspondent whose utterly riveting memoir covers life and love in Latin America and Haiti. Abandoning a chance of a lifetime to go on a long awaited meditation retreat, he heads to Mexico to live out his other dream – of being a journalist with NPR. From his base in Mexico, he shuttles between countries reporting on the political crisis in Haiti and the illegal immigration into the USA among others. He finds himself in conversation with drug dealers, arms smugglers, hungry Haitians and the forgotten coffee-bean growers of El Salvador. In the middle of all of this, he experiences poltergeists or ghosts in his own rented home in Mexico – an account which he recounts wonderfully.
I was captivated by the attention to detail in his stories. It reminded me once again of what good journalism is. Whether radio reporting or for print, the details are what takes a report from average to extra-ordinary.
There’s nothing average about this book, or about Hadden’s experiences as a reporter in Latin America. It is a compelling read and I could not put it down. The book also put Haiti back on my radar. It made me realise how little I actually knew about the crisis there. I don’t envy Hadden his job, but I will certainly be reading this book again. Maybe every writer/reporter should.
Title: Never the Hope Itself
Author: Gerry Hadden
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Copy : From publisher