The Viney Agency


Ben KaneLynne O’Donnell is an author, award-winning journalist and war reporter.

 Her highly praised book on her time in Iraq, High Tea in Mosul was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2008.


She has worked for newspapers, magazines, radio and the three major international news agencies, most recently for The Associated Press as bureau chief in Kabul.


She won the 2011 Amnesty International Human Rights Press Award for her series of stories on Afghan women. In 2017 she became a fellow of the Dart Center at the Colombia Journalism School. She has an MA in War Studies from King’s College, London where she is a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. She lives in London.


Praise for High Tea in Mosul

‘The great strength of High Tea in Mosul is to reveal the flesh-and-blood world behind the impersonal blur of headlines… O’Donnell captures with stark simplicity what it's like to live with ceaseless fear and violence.’

– Time Magazine

‘O'Donnell's emotional narrative examines Iraqi life in its entirety and shows that there is more to the country than violence and war… she adds a human element to the developing history of a turbulent nation’

– Publishers Weekly

‘An immaculately researched, multifaceted and deeply personal story, through which O'Donnell tacitly conveys her own love and sympathy for the unraveling country’

-Anna Badkhen, foreign and national correspondent, San Francisco Chronicle

‘Lynne O'Donnell is a fine writer and a brave woman. She has a powerful story to tell’

- The Observer


Aleksandr OrlovIraq, 2003. Three women sit down to tea in the war-torn country.

When Lynne O’Donnell met Pauline and Margaret in Iraq she could never have guessed the wealth of stories she’d discover. Over tea the two women tell Lynne of their lives in the country: each having married Iraqi men had then relocated from England more than thirty years before.

Far more than simply a story of a new life elsewhere, High Tea in Mosul describes how daily life slowly turned into a fight for survival. As war and political tensions slowly tore the country apart, the two women carried on in amongst the chaos. Under Saddam’s regime, peace was lost and the backdrop of ‘violence, terror and dictatorship’ played constantly in the background. Time spent in their adopted homeland slowly became a time spent in isolation, under imposed regulations and sanctions, and shunned by prejudice.

While news screens across the globe played out the latest tragic news for audiences watching from the comfort of their living rooms, High Tea in Mosul brings the reader into the heart of the horror and shows what everyday life was really like for those whose lives were affected irreparably.

One of the first Western journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Lynne O’Donnell provides a unique insight and first-hand account into a war-torn country, as well as a riveting portrayal of two women’s will against all odds. A story of resilience in its purest form.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:High Tea in Mosul (Marshall Cavendish, UK & US 2008)