Conversations with Tim O'Brien

Overview

On the strength of a National Book Award for his novel Going After Cacciato (1978) and a widely acclaimed short-story cycle, The Things They Carried (1990), Tim O'Brien (b. 1946) cemented his reputation as one of the most compelling chroniclers of Vietnam--and, in the process, was cast as a "Vietnam writer." But to confine O'Brien to a single piece of ground or a particular style is to ignore the broad sweep of a career spanning nearly four decades.

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Conversations with Tim O' Brien

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Overview

On the strength of a National Book Award for his novel Going After Cacciato (1978) and a widely acclaimed short-story cycle, The Things They Carried (1990), Tim O'Brien (b. 1946) cemented his reputation as one of the most compelling chroniclers of Vietnam--and, in the process, was cast as a "Vietnam writer." But to confine O'Brien to a single piece of ground or a particular style is to ignore the broad sweep of a career spanning nearly four decades.

In addition to detailed discussions of all of O'Brien's work--a memoir, If I Die in a Combat Zone (1973), and seven books of fiction--the sixteen interviews and profiles in Conversations with Tim O'Brien explore common themes, with subtle differences. Looming large is the experience of Vietnam and its influence as well as O'Brien's youth in Minnesota and the expectations of a Midwestern upbringing. Interviews allowed the writer to fully examine the shifting boundaries of truth and identity, memory, and imagination in fiction; the role of war in society; gender issues; and the craft of writing. O'Brien approaches each of these topics and a host of others with a directness and an evident passion that will resonate with both readers and prospective writers.

Patrick A. Smith, Havana, Florida, is associate professor of English at Bainbridge College in Georgia. His books include Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion; "The true bones of my life": Essays on the Fiction of Jim Harrison; and Thematic Guide to Popular Short Fiction. His work has appeared in Studies in Short Fiction, Quarter after Eight, Scribner's American Writers, Scribner's British Writers, Aethlon, and other publications.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617036781
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 10/22/2012
  • Series: Literary Conversations Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,016,645
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Patrick A. Smith is associate professor of English at Bainbridge College in Georgia. His books include Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion; "The true bones of my life": Essays on the Fiction of Jim Harrison; and Thematic Guide to Popular Short Fiction. His work has appeared in Studies in Short Fiction, Quarter after Eight, Scribner's American Writers, Scribner's British Writers, Aethlon, and other publications.
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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chronology xxi

Interview with Tim O'Brien Larry McCaffery/1979 3

Tim O'Brien: "Maybe So" Eric James Schroeder/1984 22

An Interview with Tim O'Brien Martin Naparsteck/1989 41

Staying True to Vietnam: Writer Tim O'Brien Aims for the War's Nerve Center Gail Caldwell/1990 52

An Interview with Tim O'Brien Steven Kaplan/1991 58

Artful Dodge Interviews Tim O'Brien Daniel Bourne Debra Shostak/1991 68

Responsibly Inventing History: An Interview with Tim O'Brien Brian C. McNerney/1994 88

Tim O'Brien Interview Tobey C. Herzog/1995 100

About Tim O'Brien: A Profile Don Lee/1995 115

The Heart under Stress: Interview with Author Tim O'Brien James Lindblaom/1998 120

Journeying from Life to Literature: An Interview with American Novelist Tim O'Brien Lynn Wharton/1999 125

Tim O'Brien: An Interview Anthony Tambakis/1999 143

Tim O'Brien: Author of July, July Talks with Robert Birnbaum Robert Birnbaum/2002 160

"Every question leads to the next": An Interview with Tim O'Brien Jonathan D'Amore/2007 173

An Interview with Tim O'Brien Steven Pressfield/2010 180

On War, Heroes, and the Power of Literature: A Conversation with Tim O'Brien Patrick A. Smith/2011 184

Key Resources 197

Index 203

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