A recent houseguest gifted me Philip Klay’s National Book Award-Winning short story collection, Redeployment, and it is un-put-down-able. A serious psychological profiling of the men who go to war, and their struggles to come back afterwards.
Here’s a snippet:
It was bullshit, but every time I told the story, it felt better. Like I owned it a little more. When I told the story, everything was clear. I made diagrams. Explained the angles of bullet trajectories. Even saying it was dark and dusty and fucking scary made it less dark and dusty and fucking scary. So when I thought back on it, there were the memories I had, and the stories I told, and they sort of sat together in my mind, the stories becoming even stronger every time I retold them, feeling more and more true.
I love the way he uses language to put us inside character’s head. It reads the way soldiers I know talk. But then it talks about things most soldiers never dare discuss.
Anyway, read it.