It’s 2011 and in a remote fishing village in far north Queensland, ex special forces soldier Daniel Grey has just returned from a brutal tour of duty in Afghanistan. Unsure of what’s next, he’s sought out his old mentor and school rugby coach. He meets the coach’s beautiful wife Maria, and their daughter Remy – a strange and reclusive girl with unusual gifts.
Dealing with the loss of his former life and his best friend – along with some deeper wounds – Daniel now faces his toughest battle. In doing so, he has the chance to conquer old demons once and for all – and maybe help a new friend find her way in the world.
Cooktown is a confronting and tender novel which unflinchingly examines our need for human closeness via unforgettable characters set adrift from society.
‘A brave and compelling novel, addressing real and pertinent issues.’ —Steven Lang
These masterfully crafted stories from writers who have served reflect the entire breadth of human emotion—loss, anger, joy, love, fear, and courage—and the evolving nature of what has become America’s “Forever War.”
From debut writers to experienced contributors whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the New Yorker, this exceptional collection promises to be the definitive fictional look at the aftereffects of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and will resonate with the reader long after the final page.
Including stories by: Elliot Ackerman, Benjamin Busch, Brandon Caro, Maurice Decaul, Teresa Fazio, Thomas Gibbons Neff, Aaron Gwyn, Alex Horton, Matt Robinson, Kristen L. Rouse, Chris Wolfe, Kayla M. Williams, Brandon Willitts, and many others.
It's Christmas Eve and twenty-seven-year-old Manuela Paris is returning home to a seaside town outside Rome. Years ago, she left to become a soldier. Then, Manuela was fleeing an unhappy, rebellious adolescence; with anger, determination, and sacrifice she painstakingly built the life she dreamed of as a platoon commander in the Afghan desert.
Now, she's fleeing something else entirely: the memory of a bloody attack that left her seriously injured. Her wounds have plunged her into in a very different and no less insidious war: against flashbacks, disillusionment, pain, and victimhood.
Numb and adrift, she is startled to life by an encounter with a mysterious stranger, a man without a past who is, like her, suspended in his own private limbo of expectation and hope. Their relationship—confusing, invigorating—forces her to confront her past and the secrets she, and those closest to her, are hiding.
In chapters that toggle between Manuela at home, grappling with her new life, and Manuela in Afghanistan, coming to terms with her role as a leader of fighting men and a peacemaker in a country that doesn't seem to want her help, Melania G. Mazzucco limns a story of love and loss, death and resistance in terms both surprising and cathartic. Limbo asks its readers, no less than its protagonist, what it means to be a daughter, a sister, a woman, a citizen, a soldier—or, more simply, a human.
"One of Canada’s most eloquent storytellers has given us a compelling and exquisitely crafted tale about hope, love and creativity."—Susan Swan
"Marilyn Bowering has written an astonishing novel, full of hope and courage—a brilliant antidote to cynicism and despair."—Isabel Huggan
"Marilyn Bowering is one of our whistle-blowers. Her new book tells us What It Means to Be Human—something we seem on the brink of forgetting. Classic in form, this white-knuckle book leads us through a contemporary underworld before bringing us up, once again, to the light. Required reading!"—P.K. Page