A great writer is a great writer... Tolstoy was not a woman, but 'Anna Karenina' is still a pretty good book.
Bombs do very, very bad things to human bodies. It's incredibly shocking to see.
Certainly, my exposure in high school to writers like Flannery O'Connor, Shusaku Endo, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Graham Greene was formative.
Certainly, when I'd left Iraq back in 2008, I'd been proud of my service, but whether we'd been successful or not was still an open question.
Even if torture works, what is the point of 'defending' America using a tactic that is a fundamental violation of what America ought to mean?
Fiction is the best way I know how to think something through.
For me, leaving the Marine Corps was more disorienting than returning home.
Going to war is a rare experience in American culture, so it's easy for simple notions to gain a lot of weight. The reality is always more complex.
I did try to write in Iraq, and I failed. I think you just don't have the brain space for it.
I didn't want to write a 'this is how it is' Iraq book, because the Iraq War is an intensely complicated variety of things.
I don't want to act as though my deployment was particularly rough, because it wasn't. I had a very mild deployment; I was a staff officer.
I doubt there's anything you could say to Donald Rumsfeld that would puncture the armor of his narcissism.
I ended up going to Dartmouth, and I did Marine Officer Candidate School during my junior summer.
I grew up a little north of New York City and went to high school at Regis, an all-boys tuition-free high school in Manhattan.
I have friends with post-traumatic stress - friends with post-traumatic stress who are, you know, highly successful, capable people.
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