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Journalist Turns Novelist in 'The Sand Cafe'

Foreign correspondent Neil MacFarquhar writes about a world he knows well -- war reporting in the Middle East -- in a debut novel, The Sand Cafe. The book follows the sometimes surreal and circus-like atmosphere of foreign correspondents holed up in a Saudi Arabian hotel, waiting for action during the 1991 Gulf War. MacFarquhar was an Associated Press reporter when that war broke out, and has spent a dozen years as a Middle East reporter, including five years as Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times. He tells Liane Hansen what it's like to go from hard news to fiction.

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