My Journey Through War and Peace
Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker
Book 1 of The Heroine’s Journey
Burch’s memoir recounts her remarkable experiences over eight years as a photographer covering the war in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s and as a filmmaker, and also her own personal and spiritual journey as a young woman…. Her accounts provide revealing glimpses into the conflict, Afghan culture, and the dangers of war reporting, particularly for a woman.
At twenty-two, Melissa Burch headed to Afghanistan with a cam- era … determined to film a war for CBS and to find herself. [This] is the dizzying and dazzling account of that journey.
In this memoir, a documentary filmmaker describes her dramatic journeys, both outward and inward. In 1982, Burch had just turned 21. Eager for adventure, she arranged a freelance assignment in Afghanistan to film the mujahedeen rebellion against Soviet invaders. There, she discovered a paradoxical peace amid war… Writing with sensitivity and vivid clarity about her evolving self, Burch is unafraid to expose times when she was naïve, self-centered, or judgmental. It’s fascinating, too, to read her insider details on documentary filmmaking in dangerous places, especially as a woman… An absorbing, well-written memoir by a brave adventurer who discovered her own life.
Melissa’s new memoir is adventuresome, inspiring and fun. Her account of travels into Afghanistan, Soviet Union, and living as a filmmaker in the NYC 80´s art scene is intense, raw and enchanting. She has a story that must be told and she does so with a new and charismatic voice.
Susana Aikin, Emmy Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker of “Transformations”
Melissa’s true life story is not only fascinating but she had me riveted to every word on the page. Her openness to exploring new horizons in both her inner and outer world, developing awareness, eliciting meaning out of her experiences, and incorporating the lessons in the next step of her journey are totally relevant to the needs of all of us today.
Kate Soudant, Editor
Moments like jewels – the lovemaking, of course, how could I not love that! Other kinds of jewels, too. The memoir shares insights in a direct and down-to-earth way. In between the reflections of a young woman’s challenging adventure-cum-career as a filmmaker in a war zone are phenomena, life beyond ourselves, shining forth.
Melissa Burch’s memoir is the best memoir I have read since Girl in the Dark.… In our materialistic culture, about five hundred books a day are published and most of them have all the depth of a mud puddle. This work is a welcome change. Burch’s psychological insights are very astute.
Ryan Tilley, Poet
It’s a frustrating, disillusioning, and yet enlightening journey. [Melissa Burch] has harrowing experiences and unexpected joys and successes. And when she is home again, there’s both more enlightenment and more harrowing emotional experiences.
Lis Carey, Lis Carey’s Library blog
A difficult relationship with her father and her mother’s plunge into alcoholism led Burch to strike out on her own, running from her struggles and desperately searching for meaning … Burch takes us along on some of the formative times of her life and leaves us asking for the next chapter.
Mark P Sadler, Author of Kettle of Vultures