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Memory and Desire

Memory and Desire, the new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Philip Caputo, is the ideal gift for anyone who enjoys a good read about the newspaper industry and the human struggle of moral choices.


A chance discovery of Cuban refugees during a Key West fishing trip with an old friend lands newspaper editor Luke Blackburn in the news—the last place a journalist should or wants to be. When the story goes out on the wire, it catches the attention of Blackburn’s lover from many years ago, Corinne.


When she reaches out to him with the news about the child she’d given up at birth, he fears not only for the security of his marriage but the stability of his wife, Maureen. Although a brilliant scholar, she’s also bipolar and fragile. And for this reason, Luke and Maureen had forgone having children of their own. He’d never told her about the child Corinne gave up when they split, and he’d gone to war.

 Memory and Desire is a suburb novel, and the author’s portrayal of the newspaper world of his protagonist is excellent.

In Miami, where Luke is managing editor at a newspaper struggling to remain relevant in the digital era, his star investigative reporter is working on a blockbuster story about the corrupting influence of cartel money in South Florida. The stench of political corruption in Luke’s own backyard of Miami threatens to draw him into the fray.


I’ve been a journalist for more than 40 years, and my experience in the news business has made me a sharp critic of novels featuring reporters or editors. Memory and Desire is a suburb novel, and the author’s portrayal of the newspaper world of his protagonist is excellent. I enjoyed that Luke Blackburn's character reminded me of a few editors I’ve had in my career. He struggles with budgets (how much space can be assigned to stories), finances and staff cuts, deadlines, and guiding his reporters while trying to balance the demands on his time with his home life.


In addition to Memory and Desire, Philip Caputo has written seventeen books, including the New York Times bestseller A Rumor of War. He’s also penned dozens of articles in major magazines, op-ed pieces, and reviews for publications across the United States, including the New York Times, National Geographic, and the Chicago Tribune.



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