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OUT JULY 11TH 2023

"NO ORDINARY ASSIGNMENT – an unflinching memoir of ambition and war from award-winning journalist and special PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson, will be released by HarperCollins, July 2023. For fans of Samantha Power, Marie Colvin, and Ariel Levy, Ferguson’s bold debut chronicles her unlikely journey from bright, inquisitive child to intrepid war correspondent reporting from the front lines of the most dangerous conflicts and dire humanitarian crises of our time.


In her bold debut, Ferguson tackles the question she’s so often asked: Why do you do what you do? Digging deep and reflecting on the moments and themes in her life that shaped her as a person before she was a professional, and then guided her journalism, Ferguson answers by taking the reader on her eventful life journey. From Northern Ireland to Yemen, Afghanistan, and every major front line of the last 15 years, NO ORDINARY ASSIGNMENT unveils the dramatic stories and the dedicated storytellers behind the news.

While other reporters chased “bang-bang-shoot-‘em-up” stories, a different set of questions guided Ferguson’s work - ones that gave faces and names to the people experiencing these conflicts. In the face of grave violence and suffering, giving voice to civilian lives seemed a small act of justice, no matter the risks.


With an open-hearted humanity rarely see in conflict stories, NO ORDINARY ASSIGNMENT shows what it means to build an authentic career against the odds." 

Dexter Filkins

The New Yorker

"Told with breadth and verve and humanity."

Roger Cohen

New York Times

"Ferguson delivers a remarkable testament to the anguish and the beauty of foreign correspondence."

Yaroslav Trofimov

WSJ Chief Foreign Correspondent

"Brings an inquisitive eye and innate empathy to the greatest stories that have defined our age."

“With vivid details and pointed reflection, her memoir draws readers into the world of war that exists beyond the ‘bang bang’ of most news coverage… Ferguson clearly demonstrates the devastating, oft-overlooked impact of war on civilians from every side… She is an expert storyteller… A captivating, honest, and powerful attempt to do justice to the hardest stories to tell.” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“So much has been packed into this young foreign correspondent’s remarkable life, you’d think she’s far older than she is. From Ireland to Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine, there’s hardly a war zone she hasn’t covered. But what most draws you in to this finely written memoir are the raw accounts of a childhood short on love and long on criticism that no doubt pushed her in the direction of a high-wire career, and, along the way, a soulful search to understand who, really, is Jane Ferguson?” — Judy Woodruff, former anchor of PBS NewsHour

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