A war memoir of unusual literary beauty and power from the acclaimed poet who wrote the poem “The Hurt Locker.”
In 2003, Sergeant Brian Turner crossed the line of departure with a convoy of soldiers headed into the Iraqi desert.
Now he lies awake each night beside his sleeping wife, imagining himself as a drone aircraft, hovering over the terrains of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe.
In this breathtaking memoir, award-winning poet Brian Turner retraces his war experiencepre-deployment to combat zone, homecoming to aftermath. Free of self-indulgence or self-glorification, his account combines recollection with the imagination's efforts to make reality comprehensible. Across time, he seeks parallels in the histories of others who have gone to war, especially his taciturn grandfather (World War II), father (Cold War), and uncle (Vietnam). Turner also offers something that is truly rare in a memoir of violent conflicthe sees through the eyes of the enemy, imagining his way into the experience of the "other." Through it all, he paints a devastating portrait of what it means to be a soldier and a human being.
Brian Turner is the author of the memoir My Life as a Foreign Country and the poetry collections Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise. He directs the low-residency MFA at Sierra Nevada College. The Kiss was conceived with his late wife, the acclaimed poet Ilyse Kusnetz, to whom it is dedicated. It was developed from a series he curated for Guernica.
My Life as a Foreign Country 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Turner's memoir in narrative poetry nails a deep dive down into a somber topic: war. Turner's genius manifests in pitting his life against the dramatic scars of his service in the Army's Infantry. Turner talks so much about ghosts and dreams and the lost. But he does so in a way that only cherishes the life of his army fellows. MLFC is a brilliant epic about pursuing life after war and living with a thousand dream spectators who either beckon back to war or a hard quitting.
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