Acclaimed journalist, author J. Malcolm Garcia to speak at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-10-17 09:33:11 - General

Coe College will welcome acclaimed journalist and author J. Malcolm Garcia on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library. The 1979 Coe alumnus will discuss his latest book, "Without A Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans." The event is free and open to the public.

Garcia has written about the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Kosovo, Chad, Syria, Haiti, Argentina, Central America and the United States. In addition to his books he has published numerous articles – both fiction and non-fiction. Garcia routinely makes radio and television appearances to discuss his work.

In addition to speaking at Coe, Garcia has donated a collection of his works to the college archives. His publications will add important intellectual value to the archives as they cover the political events of the 21st century.

A prolific author, Garcia's publications cover a wide variety of contemporary topics, with a focus on war-torn areas of the world. Garcia reveals the people and pain behind the statistics in "What Wars Leave Behind." He writes about impoverished families scraping by in Cairo's city of the dead, ordinary Syrians pretending all is well as shells explode around them, and others caught in conflicts that rage long after the cameramen have packed up and gone away.

"The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul" was written with a focus on Afghanistan. Shortly after Sept. 11, Garcia, a self-described middle-aged, middle-of-the-road Midwesterner arrived in Afghanistan. A former social worker, he had only recently become a reporter and had never covered a war. As for Afghanistan, he barely knew where it was. But during the next seven years of travel between Kansas City and a post-Taliban Afghanistan, Garcia found an emotional and professional center—one that, in spite of other assignments and war reporting, drew him back to the region over and over again. Unlike fly-by reporters traveling through the country armed with a satellite phone and a ticket for the next flight to Islamabad, Garcia settled into Afghanistan learning its history, meeting its resilient people and occasionally making dreadful faux pas, but ultimately forging lifelong connections.

In "Riding through Katrina with the Red Baron's Ghost," Garcia merges his experiences during the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina with memories of his 30-year correspondence with the elderly author of a book about the Red Baron, a lifelong mentor whom Garcia had never met, and who might have been killed in the hurricane. The story is a beautiful interweaving of history, tragedy, personal fulfillment and intergenerational friendship.

The event is sponsored by Stewart Memorial Library at Coe College. For more information on the event, call 319-399-8024.