war books

A Doctor Slowly Unravels at the Height of the Vietnam War in ‘All Bleeding Stops’

Michael J. Collins

His war begins with a quiet palette of turquoise and green; soft, shaded layers of blue and white layered like quicklime over all the darkness to follow. The plane banks left. Their shadow, a hundred yards behind them, flits over the shimmering surface of the South China Sea. Ahead, blue waters lap against brilliant white sand. A canopy of jungle fronting the beach glows green in the slanting rays of the late-afternoon sun.

Reading 21st Century War Stories (Part II)

Kara Krauze

Sometimes our stories will end on that happy moment, a hero back from hell, even if reductive or just a moment in time; and sometimes the return will involve a different kind of hell, a reckoning with memory and the past, a reckoning with the schism between a then and a now. This cohesion and possibility for healing—and sometimes art—happens in the telling of the tales, the shaping of experience, character, setting, wherever the story may take us on that narrative arc. 

Reading 21st Century American War Stories: Heroes, Hell, and Back

Kara Krauze

The 21st century in America has been permeated by war, almost from the start; even while most of America’s citizens remain unaffected—directly anyway—by its vicissitudes.  We need a literature that can begin to convey the multiplicities of war: the adrenaline; the sweat and blood; the isolation; the brotherhood; the memories and questions; and the return home. We need a narrative for America’s 21st century wars, and yet no single narrative will suffice.

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