about me  



Christina Lamb OBE is one of Britain's leading foreign correspondents. She has been named Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times in the British Press Awards and What the Papers Say Awards and in 2007 was winner of the Prix Bayeux Calvados - one of the world's most prestigious prizes for war correspondents, for her reporting from Afghanistan.

She has won numerous other awards starting with Young Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards for her coverage of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1988; was part of the News Reporter of the year for BCCI; and won the Foreign Press Association award for reporting on Zimbabwean teachers forced into prostitution, and Amnesty International award for the plight of street children in Rio.

She was named by Grazia magazine as one of their Icons of the Decade and by She magazine as one of BritainÕs Most Inspirational Women. The ASHA foundation chose her as one of their inspirational women worldwide with her portrait featuring in a special exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery. Her portrait has also been in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She was awarded the OBE in the 2013 New Years Honours.

Currently roving Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Sunday Times, she has been a foreign correspondent for more than 20 years, living in Pakistan, Brazil and South Africa first for the Financial Times then the Sunday Times. She has also spent a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard where she met her husband.

She is the author of the best-selling book The Africa House as well as House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-torn Zimbabwe; Waiting For Allah Š: Pakistans struggle for democracy; and The Sewing Circles of Herat, My Afghan Years which was runner up as Best Non Fiction book in the Barnes & Noble Great New Writers Awards. Her most recent book is Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands, a collection of her reportage.

A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and inveterate traveller, she was educated at Oxford University from which she holds a degree in politics, philosophy and economics. She is married with a young son and lives between London and Portugal.

Aside from the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, and Financial Times, Christina’s work has appeared in the New York Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Time magazine and Conde Nast Traveller. As the first journalist to have access to the transcripts of interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, her investigation was the subject of an ABC Nightline programme. She was one of the journalists interviewed by Oliver North for his programme on War correspondents in his Fox TV series War Stories and featured in Lou Hamilton’s film War Women. She is a frequent commentator on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Zimbabwe  on radio and television in Britain, Canada, Australia and the US and has given talks to schools, MPs, NATO and the military, and taught literary non-fiction at the Arvon Foundation. Christina is also a regular newspaper reviewer on Sky TV. She is on the board of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and a patron of the charities Afghan Connection and Hope for Children. Her work inspired the book Zahir of multi-million selling author Paulo Coelho.

Taken from an interview with
“I always wanted to write and decided to become a journalist to have some adventures and make some money. I was 21 when I set off to live in the frontier town of Peshawar to report on the war in Afghanistan, and I had absolutely no idea what foreign correspondents needed -- or did for that matter. I could hardly carry my suitcase, which contained lots of novels including a dog-eared copy of Rudyard Kipling's Kim, a supply of wine gums, a bottle of Chanel perfume, Mahler's Fifth, and a pink felt rabbit. I will never forget getting off the Flying Coach in the old city just as the sun was setting, struggling with this oversized case, and being surrounded by rickshaws honking and people trying to sell me things, and realizing I didn't have a clue where I was going to stay.”

“I've always been fascinated by the first explorers and settlers in Africa who headed off with maps with great blank spaces that said things like, ‘Here be cannibals,' and I have often found myself following Livingstone's footsteps. My book The Africa House is set by the Lake of the Royal Crocodiles, where Livingstone's little dog Chitane was eaten and his porters ran off with his quinine on his ill-fated last journey. I got married in Zanzibar in the church founded by him. It was just us, and the priest's wife and a taxi driver as witnesses. Afterward, my husband, Paulo, had to sign on the marriage certificate to say whether he was monogamous, polygamous, or potentially polygamous. Fortunately he ticked the first, or it might have been an extremely short marriage.”