Archive for the 'Fiction' Category
I’m also eagerly anticipating the release of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War next month. It’s a collaboration of fifteen recent veterans.
Here’s an excerpt from Nathan Webster’s Amazon.com review:
“At some point there will be a definitive novel-length account of the Iraq or Afghanistan war. There have been a couple good ones, but none that tell (or try to) the whole story – there are too many experiences, perspectives and points of view for one book, with one voice, to accomplish all that. At least for now.
This short story collection pulls off that difficult task: it ‘collects’ 15 unique voices, each with their own perspectives. In these short forms, taken as a whole, it does give the reader almost all the viewpoints of a soldier and veteran’s experience. While each story might not be perfect (and there were a couple I didn’t like), the entire book adds up to a greater sum than its individual parts.
I have my favorites – “Television” by Roman Skaskiw presents an excellent day-in-the-life description of the grinding days of little obvious reward, when the “mission” isn’t what a soldier expects or wants. “And Bugs Don’t Bleed” by Matt Gallagher is a look at the homefront divide between compassion and rage. Siobhan Fallon’s “Tips For a Smooth Transition” is an accurate look at an awkward reunion between a returning soldier and his wife. Phil Klay’s “Redeployment” is a story of a man and his dog.
. . . .
But the audience should be civilian readers who are looking for a fuller view of the war than a nonfiction “combat” story can really tell. It’s a success of this collection that only one story, Brian Turner’s “The Wave That Takes Them Under” really describes combat, and it’s so poetic I barely noticed. A soldier’s experience is much more than combat; these stories show a lot of the human feeling that gets missed behind pictures of guys all turtled-up behind body armor and black sunglasses.
It’s a powerful collection; for now, probably the best, most comprehensive – fictional – look at the wars that has been written. As I said, the individual stories might have their own flaws and some are better than others – but the sum is much greater than the parts.”
The range of stories in Fire and Forget displays a remarkable depth and breadth of the experience of the Iraq war.
– Paul Harris, The Guardian
Captures the messiness of soldiering when the mission and endgame are unclear. Though fiction, each work reads true, filled with tension, fear, and anger.
Searing stories from the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the USA by warrior writers. Fire and Forget is about not forgetting. It is a necessary collection, necessary to write, necessary to read.
– E.L. Doctorow
I’ve been waiting for this book for a decade. I laughed, shouted, and cried while reading this kaleidoscopic collection. So many facets of war and the people who do our fighting are covered here. Fire and Forget is a literary history of this latest period of American wars. It’s a profound and telling work of art.
– Anthony Swofford
From Siobhan Fallon’s moving anatomy of what a waiting spouse has to look forward to after her husband’s third deployment, to Brian Van Reet’s brilliant gloss on Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River,” these stories mark the territory of Return, in a manner both rich and essential.
– Anthony Giardina
A diverse anthology on our long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan united by the extraordinary talents of its authors. These stories are exceptional.
– Kevin Powers
A resonant, moving collection of stories from writers who know firsthand about the incongruous beauty and constant tragedy of war.
– Nathaniel Fick
Release Date: Memorial Day 2009.
This short fiction collection, edited by DD-214 Writers’ Workshop director Jeffery Hess, serves up a diverse offering of contemporary short stories set against the backdrop of the American military experience, from World War II to current conflicts in Iraq and elsewhere. Penned by some of the best writers of our time, many of whom have served in the military themselves.
Among these stories by writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O’Brien, James Salter, Tobias Wolff, Chris Offutt, Benjamin Percy and many others [like me!].
“. . . And excited children would run the streets, announcing the monsters’ arrival, and the school master, first folding his spectacles, then replacing a bookmark in the yellowed pages of some long-forgotten text, would shuffel to the schoolhouse, iron key heavy in the pocket of his night gown, children bouncing alongside, beside themselves with anticipation, and he would grip the sweat-blackened rope, the little hands of as many children as could crowd around him joining in the task, and with a slow, grave cadence of his shoulders and back, the school master would sound the bell whose peal proclaimed the arrival of the monsters who lived in the caves in the mountains by the sea . . .”
Published in Nethra, Vol. 10 No. 3, A non-specialist journal for lively minds
Edited by Ameena Huseein
(buy the issue at icescolombo.org)
I had a nightmare as a child, where goblins marched through the snow in step to the slow, steady rhythm of their drum, and the line of them extended way up into the mountains. Now, when I put my ear to the pillow, I can hear the sound again, and I remember them coming through the walls to get me.
A large, slow-moving river runs through the center of my new life. (Read more in In The Fray Magazine, Dec 08)
the Sons of Light Shall Battle with the Company of Darkness
It was a warm November second or first. The clouds spent the day gathering and breaking apart and gathering again.
The Democrats were poised to take back Congress, and even though we didn’t know too much about politics, my friends and I were all jazzed . . . (read more)